In the wake of a Russian plane crash that killed all 92 passengers on Sunday – most of them members of Russia’s Defense Ministry – authorities have largely ruled out the possibility that it was a terrorist attack. The plane, a Tu-154 military aircraft, crashed into the Black Sea just minutes after taking off from Sochi on Sunday. Carrying the military’s official choir, the Alexandrov Ensemble, several high-ranking members of the Defense Ministry and journalists, it had been heading to Syria’s Latakia for New Year’s celebrations at a Russian base. On Monday, Transportation Minister Maxim Sokolov told journalists that investigators are “proceeding from the assumption that it was either a technical failure or a pilot error.” “As far as we know, the main versions (of what caused the crash) do not include a terrorist attack,” he said. Sokolov’s comments come amid rampant speculation both in Russia and abroad that the plane may have been targeted by terrorists seeking revenge for Moscow’s campaign in Syria. While authorities said the plane underwent maintenance as recently as September, the Tu-154 aircraft have been at the center of a debate over flight safety for years. The Soviet plane has been taken out of commission by civilian airlines after numerous crashes in recent years.