The minister responsible for emergency situations in the Russian government, Yevgeny Zinichev, was killed in an accident when he tried to save a cameraman who slipped and fell from a cliff while filming a military exercise in the Arctic region, in the far north of Russia.
The BBC network said that the 55-year-old Zinichev was reportedly a key member of President Vladimir Putin's security detail for years. The minister was killed near the city of Norilsk. He was watching a military exercise while standing on the edge of a cliff when a cameraman standing next to him slipped and fell into the water below.
The emergencies minister rushed after him in an attempt to save the cameraman's life but hit his head on a protruding rock and was killed, said Margarita Simonyan, head of Russian broadcaster RT.
In the past, the minister served as a Soviet KGB officer and eventually rose to number two in Russia's federal security service. The Kremlin announced that the minister was close to Putin and that they had worked together for many years.
The large military exercise carried out in the Arctic area under Putin's orders involved 6,000 specialists in survival under harsh Arctic conditions, and covered 12 special emergency situations.