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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Borovik Laid to Rest at Novodevichy

Artyom Borovik, the journalist and media executive who died in a plane crash last week, was given a heartfelt farewell over the weekend by hundreds of people, including a distraught Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov.

"Artyom will always remain with us as a person who always said the truth and fought for it," Luzhkov said at the funeral service at the Central House of Writers on Saturday, parts of which were televised. He had to stop during his eulogy to compose himself, while his wife, Yelena Baturin, sobbed openly.

Yevgeny Primakov, a former prime minister who now leads the Fatherland party in the State Duma, and Yabloko party leader Grigory Yavlinsky also were among the mourners.

Borovik, 39, was the head of media group Sovershenno Sekretno, who first made his name as a military and investigative reporter during the early years of perestroika. He died along with oil executive Zia Bazhayev and all seven other people on board a Yak-40 that crashed shortly after taking off from Sheremetyevo Airport on Thursday on a chartered flight to Kiev.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined, and Borovik's hard-hitting investigative work into crime and corruption has prompted some of his colleagues and friends to suggest that the crash was not accidental. They said he had received threats in the past.

"I don't understand how society and the government can possibly be indifferent to threats addressed against journalists," Moskovsky Komsomolets newsp aper quoted Primakov as saying at the memorial service. "Why is there no reaction? Why are we so helpless? Why can't we twist these scoundrels' heads off?"

In a telegram from St. Petersburg, acting President Vladimir Putin praised Borovik's work as a "famous journalist" across the country. "Readers impatiently waited for his publication," Putin said.

Borovik was buried later Saturday in Novodevichy Cemetery. His casket, Itar-Tass reported, was "literally buried under wreaths" of flowers.

The plane's pilot, Sergei Yakushkin, and a member of the crew, Vasily Novolotsky, were buried Monday in Vologda in northwest Russia.

The Moscow Transport Prosecutor's Office said its investigators had "completely ruled out" that the crash was caused by a bomb, but have not excluded the possibility of sabotage, Interfax reported.

Investigators are also considering whether technical failure caused the Yak-40 to crash during takeoff. The plane lacked a cockpit conversation recorder that could have shed light on the crash, and investigators were still busy deciphering the flight data recorder. They have questioned airport personnel who prepared the plane for the flight.

The aircraft, owned by Vologda Airlines, climbed 40 meters before leaning to the left eight seconds into the flight and crashing.