MOSCOW (AP) — Russia’s emergency situations minister has died during drills, the ministry said Wednesday.
Yevgeny Zinichev, 55, “tragically died in the line of duty during inter-agency exercises to protect the Arctic zone from emergency situations, while saving a person’s life,” the ministry said in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.
The ministry didn’t offer any details about where the incident took place or how he died.
Zinichev became the head of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry in 2018. His predecessor stepped down not long after a major fire in a shopping mall in Siberia killed more than 60 people, sending shockwaves throughout the country.
In 2016, Zinichev had a two-month stint as an acting governor of Russia’s westernmost Kaliningrad region. For a long time before that, he was part of President Vladimir Putin’s personal security detail.