Pope Francis expresses his condolences to the families of the victims of a Russian military plane crash. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - SUBTITLED (NO REPORTER NARRATION) Pope Francis on Monday (December 26) prayed for the victims of a Russian military plane crash in which 92 people lost their lives. Russia marks a national day of mourning on Monday, the day after the Syria-bound plane crashed into the Black Sea on Christmas Day, killing all the people on board. The plane, a Russian Defence Ministry TU-154, was carrying dozens of Red Army Choir singers, dancers and orchestra members to Syria where they were meant to entertain Russian troops in the run-up to the New Year Nine Russian reporters were also on board as well as military servicemen and Elizaveta Glinka, a prominent member of President Vladimir Putin's advisory human rights council. "I express my deep condolences for the sad news of the Russian plane which crashed into the Black Sea. May the Lord console the beloved Russian people and the families of the passengers who were onboard the plane; journalists, crew and the excellent chorus and orchestra of the Armed Forces. May the blessed Virgin Mary sustain the search operations currently underway," Francis said. Francis' words were followed by a minute of silent prayer led by the pope. The pope was speaking to thousands of people in St. Peter's Square for his holiday blessing on the feast of St. Stephen, believed to be the first Christian 'martyr'.