Russian minister dies trying to save filmmaker during Arctic exercise

MOSCOW, Russia (AFP) — Emergencies in Russia minister died trying to save a filmmaker who slipped off a cliff during training exercises in the Arctic, officials said Wednesday.

Yevgeny Zinichev, who served earlier in President Vladimir Putin’s security detail is the… first Russian cabinet member om die on duty.

He was praised by senior government officials and the Russian leader as a loyal official and a ‘hero’. The British Ambassador in Russia also offered condolences.

the 55-year-old “kills tragically to save a person’s life” in near the city of Norilsk, the ministry said: in a statement from Russian news agencies.

The ministry identified the filmmaker as 63-year-old Alexander Melnik who produced several movies set in the Arctic region. He said it also died in the incident that took place earlier Wednesday.

Margarita Simonyan, the well-connected editor…in-chef of the state-funded news outlet RT, said the minister had fallen on him death try to save the man die later it was identified as Melnik.

“He and the cameraman were standing by the edge of a cliff,” she said.

Russian minister dies trying to save filmmaker during Arctic exercise

The Russian minister of Emergencies Yevgeny Zinichev attends a Security Council meeting die is chaired by the Russian president in the residence of the state of Novo-Ogaryovo outside Moscow on Nov 22, 2019. (Alexey DRUZHININ/SPUTNIK/AFP)

“The cameraman slipped and fell… Before anyone even thought out what happened, Zinichev jumped in the water after the fallen person and crashed against an excellent rock.”

Zinichev’s deputy Andrei Gurovich said: in television comments: “Without thinking for An second he did not act like An minister, but like a savior.

“This is how he lived his whole life,” Gurovich added.

In a mostly personal note to Zinichev’s family published by the Kremlin, Putin said he was “shocked by the tragic” news” of to be death.

“We have lost one true military officer, a comrade, a person of great inner strength and courage and courage close to all of us. For me, this is an irreparable personal loss,” Putin said.

Zinichev was a member of the KGB security service in the last year of the USSR and its career took off after he served in Putin’s security detail between 2006 and 2015.

He had a number of high profile jobs, die briefly served as acting governor of Russian exclave region of Kaliningrad and then as a deputy head of the Federal Security Service (FSB).

He has been appointed head of the emergency ministry in May, 2018. He was also a member of Russian Security Council.

if head of the emergency ministry, he held one of the highest-profile cabinet jobs, dealing with natural and humanmade disasters and other rapid response situations in the vast country.

The two-day exercises he participated in in in several Arctic cities, including Norilsk, kicked off on Tuesday met: over 6,000 people.

Sorry for your loss in from top officials and even foreign dignitaries, including Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic.

Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin praised Zinichev as a “true Russian officer” and Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov said the minister “died like a hero.”

“I knew him personally. We have worked closely and fruitfully,” said de head of the Russian space agency Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin.

FSB chief Alexander Bortnikov called his death “a” big loss for Russia.”

The British Ambassador in Russia, Deborah Bronnert, said: on Twitter she was “sad” by Zinichev’s death and expressed her condolences to his family.

Melnik was a award-winning movie director and had traveled to Norilsk to work on An new movie over the development of the Arctic and Northern Sea Routes.

Opening up the Arctic is a strategic priority for Moscow and it has huge projects to expand the vast region’s natural resources.

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