About a total of 84 passengers and eight crew were on board when the plane dropped off radar, shortly after take-off at 5:40am local time (0240 GMT) from the resort town of Sochi.
Among its 83 passengers were Russian servicemen as well as members of the famous Alexandrov Ensemble, the army's official musical group internationally known as the Red Army Choir, who were headed to Syria to participate in New Year celebrations at the airbase.
There were also eight crew members onboard, the ministry said.
Russian defence minister said fragments of the plane, a Soviet-designed three-engine airliner, had been found by rescuers about 1.5km from the shore in water around 50-70 metres deep. There were no reports of survivors.
Rescuers have already found one body and personal documents belonging to some of those on board. There was no word of survivors yet.
Nine Russian journalists, including a TV crew from Channel One, were also among the passengers. The plane was headed to the Hemeimeem air base in Syria's coastal province of Latakia.
Tu-154 aircraft have been involved in a number of accidents in the past.
Such event was las recorded on April 2010 where many high-ranking Polish officials, including then president Lech Kaczynski, were killed when a Tu-154 airliner went down in thick fog while approaching the Smolensk airport in western Russia.