Russian television is mourning nine of its own – reporters and TV crew members from three different channels were on board the military plane that crashed early on Sunday en route to Syria.
Among those killed after take-off from Sochi were sound engineer Evgeny Tolstov and cameraman Oleg Pestov, who worked together.
A final photo of the aircraft was posted online by Tolstov. Showing the doomed aircraft on the tarmac in Moscow, where the flight originated, the image appeared on Facebook – with the caption “Travelling to Latakia”.
NTV cameraman Cyril Yanchenko, a colleague of award-winning Pestov, said: “I knew him for 15 years. Lately, we worked with the same equipment so I can say we looked at the world through the same camera lens. In recent years, if any turmoil happened somewhere, he was always there, always at the front line. He was a man who could not say ‘no’ – a man of the highest professional duty.”
The TV men killed were from three Russian TV stations – Channel One, NTV and the Defence Ministry’s media outlet, Zvezda TV.
Channel One correspondent Dmitry Runkov would have soon celebrated his 30th birthday.