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.”
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.”
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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