Russia’s Emergencies Minister Yevgeny Zinichev has died during a training exercise in the Arctic.
″Zinichev died tragically while performing his official duties during inter-departmental drills to prevent crisis situations in the Arctic, saving someone’s life,” Russia’s RIA news agency reported.
The 55-year-old official, who had headed the high-profile emergencies ministry since 2018, died while saving someone’s life. However, the source didn’t provide further details.
Zinichev was in the Arctic to oversee large-scale drills. He visited the construction site of a new fire station in Norilsk. He also visited a search and rescue team in the area.
Before becoming a minister, Zinichev held a number of jobs including as former deputy director of the Federal Security Service. He also acted briefly as regional governor of Kaliningrad.
The minister was part of President Vladimir Putin’s security detail.
He began his career as a KGB officer in the late 1980s and continued to serve in the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the post-Soviet period, the Times reported.
Zinichev had headed the Emergency Situations Ministry since 2018. His predecessor stepped down not long after a major fire in a shopping centre in Siberia killed more than 60 people. The incident sent shockwaves throughout the country at that time.