Minsk arena pays tribute to late Yaroslavl team

A heart-stirring requiem mass has taken place at the Minsk ice hockey arena, where this evening local side Dynamo were supposed to take on Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the team which tragically died in Wednesday’s plane crash.

All tickets for the game had been sold long before the tragedy. Soon after the sad news spread worldwide, the game’s organizers decided to arrange a mass at the arena, honoring the legacy of the team.

Not a single ticket had been returned as the ceremony was held in the packed arena.Each spectator brought flowers. All the Belarusian leadership, including President Aleksandr Lukashenko, were present at the event.

Never was the arena that silent as 37 huge portraits of the players and staff were placed on the ice. A requiem mass was performed by an orchestra, while portraits of the departed Yaroslavl friends and icons appeared on the scoreboard.

Each picture was met with a storm of applause, after which the Dynamo players scored a puck each in their own net.

Similar ceremonies were held on Thursday evening in a dozen Russian and CIS cities.

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