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Grief-stricken Putin bids farewell at the open coffin of minister killed on Arctic military exercise

A grief-stricken Vladimir Putin appeared devastated as he bade farewell immediately to his emergencies minister – and former personal bodyguard – who died on Tuesday ‘making an attempt to save lots of a person’.

The Russian chief twice rested his head on the open coffin of Yevgeny Zinichev, 55, which was draped in the nation’s flag.

Putin then sat with the minister’s widow Natalya and son Denis at the funeral ceremony. He twice approached the open coffin, bowing his head, and as he walked away appeared distraught. 

Putin has spoken of his ‘irreplaceable personal loss’ in shedding Zinichev – a former FSB deputy director – who he known as a person of ‘unimaginable inside energy, braveness and bravado’.

Zinichev died whereas making an attempt to save lots of documentary filmmaker Alexander Melnik, 63, who had fallen into icy water whereas filming an Arctic military drill on Tuesday.  

A grief-stricken Vladimir Putin appeared devastated twice resting his head on the open coffin of his emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev after died on Tuesday ‘making an attempt to save lots of a person’

The devastated Russian chief laid to relaxation his emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev’s open casket, which was draped in the nation’s tricolour flag, at his funeral immediately

Putin made a cross throughout his physique as he stepped away from the open casket of former emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev

Putin has spoken of his ‘irreplaceable personal loss’ in shedding Zinichev (pictured) – a former FSB deputy director – who he known as a person of ‘unimaginable inside energy, braveness and bravado’

Putin has awarded Zinichev a posthumous Hero of Russia award, the nation’s highest honour. 

Some consider Putin was grooming Zinichev – like him, as soon as a KGB operative – as his eventual successor. He had loved a spectacular rise beneath Putin and had been tipped lately for a brand new highly effective function on the Kremlin’s safety council.

Details have been sketchy however Zinichev is believed to have died at or close to the 90ft Kitabo-Oron waterfall at Putorana Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the Arctic.

The official account says he sought to save lots of filmmaker Melnik who had slipped as they stood on an icy rock. 

‘While rescuing a life, he took threat with out a second of doubt, and died whereas fulfilling his obligation,’ Putin mentioned.

Russian President Putin then sat with the minister’s widow Natalya (proper) at the funeral ceremony

A devastated trying Putin sat subsequent to Zinichev’s widow Natalya (proper) and son Denis (left) as he laid to relaxation his emergencies minister immediately

Putin laid flowers subsequent to the open casket of Yevgeny Zinichev immediately as he laid the late former emergencies minister to relaxation after he died whereas making an attempt to save lots of one other man on Tuesday

Mourners attend at funeral of Russian emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev in Moscow immediately

Official accounts haven’t confirmed the precise location of the tragedy.  

But experiences mentioned the military basic, 55, fell from a rock whereas making an attempt to save lots of a cameraman who had plunged into the icy water.

He was participating in military drills and workouts by legislation enforcement companies in the metropolis of Norilsk at the time.  

The Ministry of Emergencies mentioned: ‘We are sorry to tell you that whereas on obligation saving an individual’s life in Norilsk throughout interagency workouts to guard the Arctic zone from emergencies…Yevgeny Zinichev was tragically killed.’

‘He and the cameraman stood at the edge of a ledge,’ RT boss Margarita Simonyan mentioned, including: ‘The cameraman slipped and fell into the water.

‘There had been many eyewitnesses – no-one even had time to determine what had occurred, as Zinichev rushed into the water after a person who had fallen off and crashed towards a protruding rock.’ 

Some experiences say Zinichev died in a helicopter as he was airlifted to hospital from the scene of the accident. 

Putin – additionally on a visit to Siberia – was knowledgeable of Zinichev’s loss of life and paid tribute to his colleague in a condolence message to his spouse Natalya and son Denis.

‘I am shocked by the tragic information about the loss of life of Yevgeny Nicholayevich Zinichev,’ Putin wrote

‘I ask you to just accept my honest condolences and phrases of help at this sorrowful hour. We have lost a real fight officer, a comrade, a person of unimaginable inside energy, braveness and bravado.

‘For me that is an irreplaceable personal loss.’

Describing the ‘lengthy years of work’ he shared with Kinichev, Putin wrote that: ‘I at all times knew that I may rely on Yevgeny in any, even the most complex, scenario as a dependable, loyal pal, and an expert of the highest rank.

‘He devoted himself to service to the Motherland, to the folks. And whereas rescuing a life, he took threat with out a second of doubt, and died whereas fulfilling his obligation.

‘We will preserve a shiny reminiscence of Yevgeny Nikolayevich Zinichev in our hearts.’  

Some consider Putin was grooming Zinichev (pictured collectively in 2010) – like him, as soon as a KGB operative – as his eventual successor

Zinichev (pictured centre on Tuesday), an in depth ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, was participating in military drills and workouts by legislation enforcement companies in the metropolis of Norilsk when he died

Zinichev was a former KGB and FSB officer, and had been deputy director of the Federal Security Service counterintelligence company.

He beforehand served as governor of Kaliningrad area, and like Putin, was born in Leningrad, now St Petersburg.

From 2006 to 2015, Zinichev served as Putin’s personal adjutant and is believed to have as soon as been half of his safety element. Sources  mentioned that Putin had ‘complete belief’ in Zinichev.  

He had held his position as emergencies minister for 3 years and in addition sat on Russia’s highly effective safety council. In Russia, the emergencies minister is seen as an motion man function with a excessive profile.

Former president Dmitry Medvedev described Zinichev’s loss of life as an ‘irreplaceable loss’.   

Documentary filmmaker Alexander Melnik (pictured), 63, who Zinichev had been making an attempt to save lots of, additionally died on Wednesday

Alexander Kots, of pro-state tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda, mentioned the minister had died a hero.

‘He died as an expert who, even on a unconscious stage, had no different reflex than to hurry to the rescue, with out fascinated by himself.’ 

‘He got here to the Emergencies Ministry from the Lubyanka [FSB headquarters],’ he mentioned. ‘But …it would not matter what got here earlier than or who he was earlier than.

‘It is essential how he died.’

Zinichev was in the Arctic to supervise large-scale drills and visited the building website of a brand new fireplace station in Norilsk, in addition to a search and rescue group in the space, the ministry had mentioned in a press release earlier on Wednesday.

The the drills concerned Dudinka Arctic Search and Rescue group. 

Melnik, the documentary filmmaker, was famed for his work in Russia’s polar areas. He was married with three kids and 6 grandchildren.