Senior Russian Minister Dies After Diving Off Cliff to Save Film Director

MOSCOW — A senior authorities official died on Wednesday when he dove off a cliff making an attempt to save a outstanding movie director who had fallen into the water throughout a drill in Russia’s Far North, officers confirmed.

Yevgeny N. Zinichev, the minister of emergency conditions, “was tragically killed while on duty, while taking part in interagency exercises designed to protect the Arctic zone from emergencies, as he tried to save a person’s life,” a press release from his ministry mentioned.

Mr. Zinichev, who was visiting the area of Norilsk as a part of a multicity drill involving 6,000 folks, dived into the water after Aleksandr Melnik, the director, slipped and fell off a moist rock, the ministry’s press service advised native reporters.

The Russian-state information company, TASS, reported that Mr. Melnik, who was scouting places for a documentary, additionally died. The males had been standing on the sting of the Kitabo Oron waterfall, a part of the picturesque Putorana State Nature Reserve in northern Siberia, about 100 miles west of Norilsk.

“He did not hesitate for a second, not as a minister, but as a rescuer, having committed a heroic act,” Russia’s deputy emergency minister Andrei Gurovich mentioned of Mr. Zinichev to the Russia 24 TV channel.

“He lived like that all his life.”

As minister of emergencies, Mr. Zinichev was chargeable for managing the nation’s response to pure and man-made disasters, together with the forest fires raging in Siberia.

The place is taken into account influential in Russia. Its earlier holder, Sergei Ok. Shoigu, a confidant of President Vladimir V. Putin, oversaw the ministry for 20 years earlier than turning into protection minister in 2012.

Mr. Zinichev, who was 55, started working for the Russian safety providers, then referred to as the Ok.G.B., in 1987. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he continued to work for the home intelligence company, which was renamed the F.S.B. He grew to become a member of Mr. Putin’s safety element in 2006.

In 2014, he grew to become deputy head of the F.S.B.’s counterterrorism service, rising in 2016 to deputy head of your complete company. He was appointed emergency minister in May 2018, and likewise served on Russia’s Security Council.

Mr. Zinichev’s is the primary loss of life of a sitting minister in Russia, in accordance to the BBC, which additionally reported that the workout routines had been ordered by Mr. Putin to put together for disaster conditions within the Arctic.

The Russian president expressed his condolences from the Siberian taiga, the place he was spending a number of days with Mr. Shoigu, in accordance to his spokesman Dmitri Peskov.

Mr. Melnik was a director and screenwriter. He is finest recognized for “Terra Nova,” a 2008 film a couple of group of prisoners taken to an island. “Territory,” launched in 2015, primarily based on an Arctic journey novel impressed by actual occasions, tells the story of the invention of gold reserves in northeastern Russia. Parts of the movie had been shot within the Putorana reserve the place he died. Mr. Melnik had been collaborating within the drills as a part of his seek for places for a deliberate documentary on the event of the Arctic and the Northern Sea Route.