It's understood it had 65 passengers on board, along with six crew members, and was flying to the city of Orsk.
The last large-scale crash in Russia occurred on December 25, 2016, when a Tu-154 operated by the Russian Defense Ministry on its way to Syria crashed into the Black Sea minutes after takeoff from the southern Russian city of Sochi.
An emergency ministry spokesman told the TASS state news service that the crash occurred near the village of Stepanovskoye.
The Moscow region has been hit by particularly heavy snowfalls in recent days, but it is not known whether this was a factor in the crash. At this time, no terrorism is suspected, but authorities have launched an investigation into any possible criminal causes for the crash.
The cause of the crash remains uncertain. That recorder maintained flight details such as speed and altitude.
Russia's gazeta.ru website quotes unnamed investigators as saying the pilot had reported a malfunction and requested clearance for an emergency landing. According to Reuters, an official of the Emergency Situations Ministry said two bodies had been found at the site.
The Saratov Airlines flight disappeared from radar just minutes after departure for the city of Orsk, some 1,500 kilometres (1,000 miles) to the southeast.More news: George Hill: What the point guard brings to the Cleveland Cavaliers
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Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the creation of a special commission to investigate the crash and expressed "deep condolences" to relatives, according a statement from his office.
The An-148 is a Ukrainian-designed regional jet that was first introduced in 2009.
Elena Voronova, a spokeswoman for Saratov Airlines, said there had been no concerns about the technical condition of the plane, which went into service with her company in 2016.
Sunday's disaster ends a 440-day streak without a commercial passenger jet fatality - the longest stretch in modern aviation history.
Saratov Airlines is a subsidiary of Aeroflot, Russia's largest airline.
In 2015 it was banned from operating global flights when surprise inspectors found someone other than the flight crew was in the cockpit.