MOSCOW — Russia’s minister for emergencies leaped into an Arctic river at some level of a training exercise on Wednesday in an attempt to rescue a prizewinning movie director, nonetheless both died within the incident.
Yevgeny Zinichev, the emergency management chief in President Vladimir Putin’s government, had beforehand served as the president’s aide-de-camp and was a trusted member of Putin’s internal circle from his dwelling metropolis, St. Petersburg. Zinichev, 55, also shared a Soviet-era KGB background with Putin from St. Petersburg, then known as Leningrad.
Zinichev was on Putin’s safety detail from 2006 to 2015, according to Russian media.
According to stories, movie director Alexander Melnik stumbled and fell from a cliff into the Kitabo-Oron waterfall on the Putorana Plateau outside Norilsk. The minister then dived in to save him.
Margarita Simonyan, editor in chief of RT television, said on social media that Zinichev struck a rock when he jumped into the water.
She said Zinichev and Melnik had been both standing on a ledge shut to the threshold when Melnik slipped.
“He did no longer hesitate for a second and acted no longer as a minister, nonetheless as a rescuer, carrying out a heroic feat. He did that all his existence,” his deputy, Andrei Gurovich, told Russian television.
Melnik, 63, a feature movie maker and member of the Guild of Film Directors of Russia, was in Norilsk to shoot a documentary about the development of the Arctic and Russia’s Northern Sea Route. His feature movies included New Earth in 2008 and Territory in 2015.
Zinichev was appointed as head of the FSB, Russia’s domestic intelligence provider, in Kaliningrad in 2015 sooner than changing into acting governor there. He returned to Moscow and became deputy director of the FSB.
Putin’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said Zinichev’s experience running the intelligence provider influenced the president’s decision to appoint him to his contemporary place as emergency companies and products minister in 2018.
He said Putin sent a telegram expressing condolences to the family.
“They had been working together for many years. Here’s a great loss,” Peskov said.
The drill involved training to handle disaster situations within the Arctic. About 6,000 personnel had been eager about the exercise which involved 12 emergency scenarios from Murmansk within the west to Chukotka within the east, with 18 government agencies involved, according to the ministry.