Russian minister dies trying to save cameraman who fell into water
Russian Emergency Situations minister tipped to replace Putin dies while trying to save a cameraman who fell into the water while filming Arctic military drill
- Yevgeny Zinichev is reported to have fallen from a rock while attempting rescue
- The cameraman who fell into the icy water is also reported to have died
- The 55-year-old close Putin ally was taking part in exercises near city of Norilsk
- Zinichev, an ex-KGB spy, had been deputy chief of the FSB intelligence agency
Russian Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev has died while attempting to save a person’s life during training exercises in the Arctic city of Norilsk, the ministry said on Wednesday.
Zinichev, a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was taking part in military drills and exercises by law enforcement agencies in the city of Norilsk at the time.
Reports said Zinichev, 55, an army general who had been tipped as a possible successor to Putin, had fallen from a rock while trying to save a cameraman who had plunged into the icy water.
The cameraman is also reported to have died.
The Ministry of Emergencies said: ‘We are sorry to inform you that while on duty saving a person’s life in Norilsk during interagency exercises to protect the Arctic zone from emergencies…Yevgeny Zinichev was tragically killed.’
Russian Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev (pictured on Tuesday) has died while attempting to save a person’s life during training exercises in the Arctic city of Norilsk, the ministry said on Wednesday
‘He and the cameraman stood at the edge of a ledge,’ RT boss Margarita Simonyan said, adding: ‘The cameraman slipped and fell into the water.
‘There were many eyewitnesses – no-one even had time to figure out what had happened, as Zinichev rushed into the water after a man who had fallen off and crashed against a protruding rock.’
Some reports say Zinichev died in a helicopter as he was airlifted to hospital from the scene of the accident.
Putin – also on a trip to Siberia – was informed of his death of the high profile senior member of his government.
The president expressed his deep condolences to Zinichev’s widow and family.
Zinichev was a former KGB and FSB officer, and had been deputy director of the Federal Security Service counterintelligence agency.
He previously served as governor of Kaliningrad region, and like Putin was born in Leningrad, now St Petersburg.
Zinichev had been tipped as a possible successor to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Pictured: Zinichev (left) and Putin during an April 2020 meeting
From 2006 to 2015, Zinichev served as Putin’s personal adjutant and is thought to have once been part of his security detail.
Zinichev’s rapid rise to prominence following the end of his time in that role led some to believe the Kremlin leader was grooming him as a possible presidential successor.
In Russia, the emergencies minister is seen as an action man role with a high profile.
Reports said he was involved in an emergencies training video when he died.
Zinichev was in the Arctic to oversee large-scale drills and visited the construction site of a new fire station in Norilsk, as well as a search and rescue team in the area, the ministry had said in a statement earlier on Wednesday.
The the drills involved Dudinka Arctic Search and Rescue team.
Source: Read Full Article