Russian Minister Dies During Arctic Training Exercise

By Asharq Al-Awsat
Minister of Civil Defense, Emergencies and Disaster Relief of Russia Yevgeny Zinichev listens to Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting in Moscow, Russia December 27, 2019. Reuters

Russia's Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev died during a training exercise in the Arctic, the RIA news agency cited the ministry as saying on Wednesday.

The 55-year-old official, who had headed the high-profile emergencies ministry since 2018, died while saving someone's life, it said without providing further details.

"... Zinichev died tragically while performing his official duties during inter-departmental drills to prevent crisis situations in the Arctic, saving someone's life," RIA quoted the ministry as saying.

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, according to Reuters.

Before becoming a minister, Zinichev held a number of jobs including as former deputy director of the Federal Security Service and briefly as acting regional governor of Kaliningrad.

He is thought to have once been part of President Vladimir Putin's security detail.


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