On October 15, 2004, the Alexandrov Ensemble performed for the last time in the Vatican. The occasion was the 26th anniversary of the election of John Paul II, who was visibly moved during the concert.
Viaceslav A. Korobko, who was the ensemble’s conductor in 2004, is not in the group anymore, so he wasn’t amongst the 92 victims that perished in the plane crash in the Black Sea on December 25.
Pope Francis recalled their performance in the Vatican, a gift from the Russian embassy.
"May the Lord comfort the beloved Russian people and the relatives of the passengers on board: journalists, crew, and the excellent Alexandrov Ensemble. May the Blessed Virgin Mary aid the ongoing search efforts,” Pope Francis said. He concluded asking for prayers for the deceased.