Russians slam Charlie Hebdo for plane crash cartoons

Russians slam Charlie Hebdo for plane crash cartoons
© Getty

French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo is facing backlash from Russian officials for cartoons depicting a plane crash that killed members of Russia’s Red Army choir last week.

A military Tu-154 aircraft was carrying the choir from Syria to Russia when it crashed into the Black Sea on Dec. 25, killing all 92 on board. The cause of the crash remains unclear.

One cartoon shows a choir member singing "AAAAAA" as the plane is going down. The caption says the Russian choir has expanded its repertoire.


Another cartoon illustrates the whole choir singing to fish at the bottom of the Black Sea with the downed plane in the background. The caption reads, "Red Army choir conquers a new audience.”

A third cartoon shows the plane nosediving with the words: "Bad news... Putin was not on board."

Chechnya leader Ramzan Kadyrov took to Instagram to slam the magazine, calling the editorial policy "immoral and inhuman."

"The edition published cartoons of the crash of Tu-154 and the murder of the Russian ambassador in Ankara," Kadyrov wrote. "I have previously said and now repeat, that the editorial policy of the journal is immoral and inhuman."

"It has nothing to do with the freedom of the press, directly or indirectly," Kadyrov continued. "Millions of Russians and our friends across the world are personally grieving the murder of Andrei Karlov and the Tu-154 disaster, and Charlie Hebdo mocks our national tragedy."

Karlov was Russia's ambassador to Turkey. He was assassinated while speaking at an art gallery exhibition in Ankara by an off-duty Turkish police officer last week.

Igor Konashenkov, a spokesman for Russia's Defense Ministry, said, “Even paying attention to his vile garbage is demeaning to the normal person." 

Charlie Hebdo has been targeted twice by terrorists in 2011 and 2015 for its depiction of the Prophet Muhammad. 

The 2015 attack killed 12 staffers, including several prominent cartoonists.