Senior Russian Minister Dies During Drill

MOSCOW — A senior authorities official died on Wednesday when he dove off a cliff attempting to save lots of a distinguished 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 town of Norilsk as a part of a multicity drill involving 6,000 individuals, dived into the water after Aleksandr Melnik, the director, slipped and fell off a moist rock, the ministry’s press service instructed native reporters. The Russian-state information company, TASS, reported that Mr. Melnik, who was scouting areas for a documentary, additionally died.

“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, Sergey Ok. Shoigu, a confidant of President Vladimir V. Putin, oversaw the ministry for 20 years earlier than changing into protection minister in 2012.

Mr. Zinichev, who was 55, started working for the Russian safety providers in 1987 and have become a member of Mr. Putin’s safety element in 2006.

In 2014, he turned deputy head of the counterterrorism service of Russia’s home intelligence company, often called the F.S.B. From 2016-2018 he was its deputy head. He was appointed emergency minister in May 2018, and likewise served on Russia’s Security Council.

Mr. Zinichev’s is the primary demise of a sitting minister in Russia, in accordance with the BBC. Mr. Putin expressed his condolences from the Siberian taiga, the place he was spending a number of days with Mr. Shoigu, in accordance with his spokesman Dmitri Peskov.