Russian President Vladimir Putin—who rarely shows emotion in public— broke down as he honored a friend who died this week. Putin attended a memorial service for Russian emergencies minister Yevgeny Zinichev Friday, with photos showing the strong-arm leader emotional and teary-eyed as he approached Zinichev’s coffin and bowed his head over it. Throughout the service, he was seen comforting Zinichev’s widow, holding her hand as she cried.
Zinichev became emergencies minister in 2018 after previously serving as a member of Putin’s security detail. He died Wednesday after trying to save a film director who fell off a cliff. The Kremlin said his death was a great loss to the country, while deputy emergencies minister Andrei Gurovich said he responded “not like a minister, but like a rescuer. This is how he lived all his life.”