A Russian government minister and former member of President Vladimir Putinâ€™s security detail died during exercises in the Arctic.
The emergencies ministry said Yevgeny Zinichev, 55, died while observing activities in the city of Norilsk, above the Arctic Circle. In a statement, the ministry said he was trying to rescue a filmmaker who had fallen off a cliff into a river. The filmmaker, Alexander Melnik, also died.
The BBC reported Margarita Simonyan, editor-in-chief of the RT television channel, as saying: â€œZinichev rushed after the fallen man and died after hitting a protruding rock.â€
â€œWithout a momentâ€™s hesitation, he acted not as a minister, but as a rescuer. He performed a heroic deed; this is how he lived all his life,â€ Andrei Gurovich, the deputy emergencies minister, said, according to the BBC.
Zinichev was in the Arctic to oversee large-scale exercises ordered by Putin. In a statement published by the Kremlin, the president said he was â€œshocked by the tragic newsâ€ and called itÂ â€œan immeasurable personal loss.â€