Latakia-bound Russian Defense Ministry Tu-154 crashes off Sochi coast

All passengers have been declared dead.

A Tu-154 aircraft of the Russian Defense Ministry disappeared from radars after takeoff from Sochi, and was declared lost shortly after.

“Tu-154 [aircraft] of the Defense Ministry departed from Sochi and disappeared from radars after some time. Its search is currently organized,” a source told TASS news agency.

92 people were believed to be on board of the aircraft, 64 of whom were musicians from the Russian Army’s Alexandrov Ensemble.

The musicians were due to perform a Christmas choir in Syria.

The Tu-154 was en route to Syria’s Latakia, a flight that has been carried out regularly since the Russian intervention in Syria.

All passengers have been declared dead including one Russian general and four colonels.