Russian Emergencies Minister Dies During Arctic Drills

Russia’s emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev has died Wednesday while attempting to save a filmmaker during training exercises in the Arctic city of Norilsk.

“We regret to inform you that Zinichev tragically died while performing his official duties during inter-departmental drills to prevent crisis situations in the Arctic, saving someone’s life,” said the ministry in a message reported by RIA.

The editor-in-chief of Russia’s state-funded RT television station, Margarita Simonyan, reported that Zinichev was standing with award-winning director Alexander Melnik when the latter slipped and fell into the water.

Zinichev rushed after Melnik in an effort to rescue him but accidentally hit a protruding rock causing his death. Melnik also has reportedly died.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told news agencies that President Putin had been informed of the accident.

Zinichev is a former bodyguard and personal aide to Vladimir Putin. He has served in the Federal Security Service (FSB) and was briefly appointed governor of the Kaliningrad region. He was nominated to head the ministry of emergency situations in May 2018.

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