Russian minister dies trying to save filmmaker in Arctic drills

Russia’s emergencies minister has died trying to save a filmmaker who slipped from a cliff during training exercises in the Arctic, officials say.

Yevgeny Zinichev, who previously served in President Vladimir Putin’s security detail, is the first Russian cabinet member to die on duty.

He is lauded by senior government officials and the Russian leader as a loyal civil servant and a “hero.”

The 55-year-old “tragically died trying to save a person’s life” near the city of Norilsk, the ministry says in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

The ministry identifies the filmmaker as 63-year-old Alexander Melnik who produced several films set in the Arctic region. It says he also died in the incident that took place earlier Wednesday.

Russian Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev attends a meeting with the Russian president on the situation in regions hit by floods and wildfires at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow on April 27, 2020 (Alexey DRUZHININ / SPUTNIK / AFP)

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