In Kyiv people are bringing flowers to Russian Embassy, expressing their condolences to Russian people on the tragedy of the plane crashed in Egypt.
Early morning on Saturday, a Russian airliner Airbus A321, carrying out the flight 9268 from Sharm el-Sheikh to St Petersburg, with 217 passengers and 7 crew members on board, crashed 100 km south of Egypt’s El Arish, North Sinai provincial capital, about half an hour after departure. Egyptian security forces confirmed there have been no survivors.
Later today the militants of an Egyptian group affiliated with Islamic State claimed that they downed Russian plane over Egypt.
Reuters reports that the Islamic State’s semi officials news agency Aamaq, also reported the group’s claim of responsibility for the crash. “The fighters of the Islamic State were able to down a Russian plane over Sinai province that was carrying over 220 Russian crusaders. They were all killed, thanks be to God,” the statement circulated on Twitter said, Reuters reported.
Sinai is the scene of an insurgency by militants close to Islamic State, who have killed hundreds of Egyptian soldiers and police and have also attacked Western targets in recent months.
Russian aviation authorities had no information about the closure of airspace in the area of the flight. This was announced by Transport Minister Maxim Sokolov. “As the aviation authorities of Egypt and the other countries of the area did not introduced any prohibitions, the aircraft followed the established corridor” – said Sokolov.
Russian tourist agency association published a list of the passengers on their site.
“Citizens of Ukraine, Belarus and residents of about 6-7 regions of Russia were among the passengers of the flight,” – said the head of the Social Policy Committee of St. Petersburg Alexander Rzhanenkov. Egyptian authorities informed that there were three Ukrainian citizens on the flight. Ukrainian Foreign Ministry has not confirmed this information yet.
Russian President Vladimir Putin declared a day of national mourning for Sunday.
Egyptian emergency services reported that one of two flight recorders has already been found. The rescue operation at the site continues.