On December 23, 2011 at 16:08 MSK (12:08 UTC), the Space Forces crews carried out a launch of a Souyz-2.1b launcher. Equipped with a Fregat boost stage, it was carrying a Meridian communication satellite. The launcher failed to deliver the satellite into the orbit due to a failure of the third stage motor at the 421st second of the flight.

This was the fifth launch of Meridian-type satellites. All previous launches, including the fourth one in May 2011, have been successful.