"On September 19, at about 03.30 p.m. Moscow time [12:30 GMT], a MiG-31 fighter jet of the Aviation Staff Training Center crashed during a planned training flight at one of the military airfields in the Nizhny Novgorod region; both pilots successfully ejected," the ministry said in a statement.
Preliminary data indicate that a technical flaw had caused the MiG-31 fighter jet's crash, the Russian Defense Ministry said.
"The flight was carried out without ammunition; the plane fell in a deserted place; there is no destruction on the ground. According to preliminary data, the cause of the accident was a technical malfunction," the Defense Ministry said.
Both pilots had safely ejected.
According to the statement, the pilots were promptly evacuated by search-and rescue personnel, and their lives are not in danger.
The plane fell 17 km from the air base. The circumstances of the disaster are being investigated.
According to some reports, the plane took off from the Savasleika air base. It was on a planned training flight. Before crashing, the MiG-31 caught fire.
The Russian Defense Ministry is working to determine precisely the causes of the accident at the site of the crash.