Russia’s Emergency Minister Yevgeny Zinichev reportedly died in the Arctic while rescuing a cameraman who fell into the water during large-scale military exercises
Image: Agency Anadolu via Getty Images)
Russia’s Emergency Minister Yevgeny Zinichev – a close ally of Vladimir Putin – was killed in the Arctic today.
He is believed to have died while rescuing a fallen cameraman from the water near Norilsk during large-scale exercises by the armed forces and law enforcement agencies in polar regions.
Sinichev, 55, an army general who had been overturned as a possible successor to Putin, had reportedly fallen off a rock while trying to rescue a cameraman.
The Ministry of Emergencies said, “We are sorry to inform you that Yevgeny Zinichev was tragically killed while on duty in Norilsk during inter-agency exercises to protect the Arctic Zone from emergencies.”
“He and the cameraman stood on the edge of a ledge,” said RT boss Margarita Simonyan.
Maxim Grigoryev / TASS)
“The cameraman slipped and fell into the water.
“There were many eyewitnesses – no one had time to find out what happened when Zinichev fell into the water after a man who fell and hit a protruding rock.”
The cameraman also reportedly died.
Putin – also on a trip to Siberia – was informed of the death of a senior high-ranking member of his government.
Zinichev was a former KGB and FSB officer and was deputy director of counterintelligence for the Federal Security Service.
He was previously governor of the Kaliningrad region and, like Putin, was born in Leningrad, now St. Petersburg.
The Dudinka Arctic Search and Rescue Team was involved in the exercises.
According to some reports, Zinichev died in a helicopter while being flown from the scene of the accident to the hospital.
Sinichev was Putin’s personal aide from 2006 to 2015.
Sign up for our daily newsletter to stay up to date on all important information at www.mirror.co.uk/email .
His rapid rise led some to believe that the Kremlin leader was preparing him as a possible presidential successor.
In Russia, the emergency minister is considered a top-class action man.
Putin expressed his deep condolences to Sinichev’s widow and family.