Gennady Troshev, 61, a former commander of the North Caucasus Military District, was one of the 88 people killed in the Boeing-737-500 crash outside Perm. He had received a Hero of Russia award for his service.
Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov's announcement was quoted by TV channel Vesti.
Troshev commanded federal forces during the 1994-1996 First Chechen War, and became the top commander in the North Caucasus in 2000. He was dismissed two years later by then-president Vladimir Putin.
The plane on which he was traveling from Moscow to Perm crashed in a wooded area a few dozen meters from residential buildings at around 3:15 a.m. (23:15 GMT Saturday) with a total of 83 passengers including seven children and 21 foreigners on board, along with five crew members.
The plane was owned by a subsidiary of Russian flagship air carrier Aeroflot.
The disaster is the worst since Pulkovo Flight 612, which crashed in eastern Ukraine on August 22, 2006 en route from the Black Sea to St. Petersburg, killing all 160 passengers and 10 crew.