The Black Widows' Revenge

SERGEI KARPUKHIN/REUTERS

ATROCITY: A Russian emergency worker at the wreckage of 1303

For three days after the planes fell from the sky, the Kremlin seemed to be in denial about the cause. Two aircraft left Tuesday night from the same Moscow airport, and dropped off the radar screens within 60 seconds of each other. At 10.53 p.m. traffic controllers lost contact with Flight 1047, a Siberia Airlines flight from Moscow to the Black Sea resort of Sochi. A minute later, Volga-Aviaexpress Flight 1303 from Moscow to Volgograd disappeared. The wreckage of the planes was quickly found. In all, at least 90 people had been killed.

The massive, near-simultaneous nature of...

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