A Russian defence plane carrying some 91 people disappeared from radar on Sunday after departing from the southern city of Sochi enroute to Syria's Latakia province, authorities said. Later reports had said that the debris was discovered in the Black Sea.
The Tu-154 aircraft carrying 83 passengers and eight crew members lost contact while flying over the Black Sea, an emergency ministry official told Sputnik news agency.
"The jet disappeared from radar about 20 minutes after takeoff from Sochi Adler Airport... It departed at 5.20 a.m., and the contact was lost at about 5.40 a.m.," he said.
Journalists, military personnel, musicians from Alexandrov Ensemble, an official army choir of the Russian armed forces, were onboard.
Initially it was reported that the aircraft was carrying some 70 people.
The Federal Air Transport Agency (Rosaviation) told Sputnik news agency that the flight was "not civilian".
The Tu-154 is a three-engine medium-range airliner produced by Russian aerospace and defence company Tupolev.
It is one of the fastest civilian aircraft in use and widely used in extreme Arctic conditions.
(With inputs from IANS)