‘Irreplaceable personal loss’: Putin offers condolences to family of Russian emergencies minister who died trying to save a life

Russian President Vladimir Putin has expressed his condolences to the family and friends of Emergencies Minister Evgeny Zinichev, who died on Wednesday while “trying to save a person’s life” during drills in the Arctic.

In a message published on the Kremlin website, Putin described Minister Zinichev as a “reliable and faithful friend” and a “professional of the highest rank.”

“We have lost a true combat officer, a comrade, a man close to all of us, of great inner strength, courage and bravery,” the president said. “For me, it is an irreplaceable personal loss.”

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The head of Russia's Ministry of Emergency Situations, Evgeny Zinichev. © Sputnik
Head of Russia’s Emergencies Ministry dies in line of duty, attempting to ‘save a life’ during exercises near Arctic city Norilsk

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also expressed his condolences, noting that he had worked together with Zinichev on multiple occasions.

“He gave his whole soul and all of himself to improving the work of his ministry and preserving the glorious traditions of the Emergencies Ministry,” Lavrov said.

According to the department he headed, Zinichev “was tragically killed while on duty, while taking part in inter-agency exercises designed to protect the Arctic zone from emergencies, as he tried to save a person’s life.”

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He had been inspecting a new fire station in the city of Norilsk as part of the visit.

Zinichev was 55 years old and had headed the Ministry of Emergency Situations since May 2018, as well as serving on the country’s Security Council.

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