Russian military aircraft 'disappears from radar' near Sochi with 91 passengers
Representational Image of Black Sea Reuters

A Russian Defence Ministry plane went missing from radar on Sunday after departing from the Black Sea resort of Sochi, the ministry confirmed in a statement.

Missile aircraft Tu-154 was carrying 91 people including journalists, military personnel, and musicians from Alexandrov Ensemble. Reports said the plane lost contact just 20 minutes after takeoff at 05:20 local time (02:20 GMT) as it was heading over the Black Sea.

Unconfirmed reports said the aircraft was bound for Syria's Latakia province. However, Russian officials have not made any comments yet. Interfax news agency quoted a source as saying that the plane went missing as it was manoeuvring over Russia's territorial waters.

According to Russia's state-run Rossiya24 TV channel reports, a search operation is now under way.

There were 83 passengers and 8 crew aboard the plane. The passengers included the famous Alexandrov military band members.

**This story is developing**