MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The Russian Defense Ministry Tu-154 plane with 92 people on board crashed in the Black Sea en route to Syria shortly after refueling at an airport in the resort city of Adler. Most of the passengers were members of the Alexandrov Ensemble, who were traveling from Moscow to Hmeymim airbase in Syria to take part in New Year celebrations.
"The Tu-154 aircraft of the Defense Ministry's military transport aviation unit was flown by experienced first class pilot Roman Volkov. His overall flight hours made up over 3,000 hours," the statement said.
The list of the passengers of the plane also includes Anton Gubankov, the chief of the Directorate of Culture of the Russian Defense Ministry, and prominent Russian humanitarian activist Elizaveta Glinka, the head of Spravedlivaya Pomoshch (Fair Aid) charity. Russia's Channel One, NTV and Zvezda broadcaster have confirmed that their journalists were among the passengers of the aircraft.