At least 20 foreigners and seven children were on the plane which witnesses said burst into flames as it prepared to land on a flight from Moscow. The wreckage cut off a stretch of the Trans-Siberian railway.
"It was burning while still in the sky and it looked like a falling comet," one female witness told Russia's Vesti-24 television.
Among the victims was General Gennady Troshev, a former top commander of Russia's war in Chechnya and advisor to ex-president Vladimir Putin, Interfax news agency reported, citing Russia's transport ministry.
Did someone just send someone a message?