Russia’s emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev died Wednesday after trying to save a filmmaker who fell off a cliff and into water during a drill in the Arctic. The ministry was filming a training video in the country’s Krasnoyarsk region when the filmmaker, director Alexander Melnik, fell off a cliff and into the Kitabo Oron waterfall, located outside the city of Norilsk. Zinichev rushed after him but was killed by a protruding rock, BBC News reported. His body was flown back to Moscow Wednesday. Andrei Gurovich, the deputy emergencies minister, told state media that Zinichev responded “not like a minister, but like a rescuer. This is how he lived all his life.”
Zinichev has been the country’s emergencies minister since 2018 and is considered a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Kremlin said Zinichev’s death was a great loss. Melnik directed the 2015 Arctic film Territory.