Russian Defence Ministry spokesperson Major-General Igor Konashenkov said that, as of yet, no survivors have been found at Tu-154 crash site, speaking from Moscow on Sunday. He went on to say that four bodies have been recovered.
The Tu-154 aircraft was bound for Hmeimim airbase, in Syria's Latakia province, carrying the official army choir of the Russian armed forces, Alexandrov Ensemble. The musicians on board were due to take part in a New Year’s performance. The plane crashed just 20 minutes after take-off, from Sochi, early on Sunday.
Konashenkov maintained that the plane's pilot, Volkov Roman Aleksandrovich was very experienced, calling him, "a first class pilot with a total flight experience of about 3,500 hours." He also discussed the age and condition of the aircraft, "The Tu-154 aircraft was manufactured in 1983, it had about 7,000 total flight hours. The last repair was conducted on December 29, 2014 and in December 2016 the aircraft went through the scheduled maintenance at the production facility."