Russia’s emergency minister, Yevgeny Zinichev, has died during an exercise in the northern city of Norilsk. The ministry reports that Zinichev died trying to save someone’s life but gave no further details about the incident.
The minister was in the north of Russia for an exercise by several government agencies. This exercise prepared for possible crises in the Arctic. Zinichev also visited a local rescue team and visited the construction of a new fire station.
According to some Russian media, Zinichev, 55, fell off a cliff while trying to grab a cameraman who had slipped while shooting a film. According to another unconfirmed reading, the minister jumped into the water to help a cameraman, after which he hit a rock and died. The cameraman is also reportedly deceased.
Zinichev previously worked for the Russian secret service FSB and has been a personal bodyguard of President Vladimir Putin. Putin appointed him minister in 2018.
The Ministry of Emergencies must, among other things, protect Russians against natural disasters, oversee the national rescue teams and, for example, ensure that the population and government agencies are prepared for crisis situations.