A sad Russian president. Vladimir Putin. He showed a rare public expression of emotion as he wept over his close friend’s coffin.
The Russian powerhouse attended the last rites of his friend and Emergency Situations Minister Yevgeny Zenithev in Moscow on Friday.
Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said Zeni Chef, 55, died Wednesday while trying to save someone’s life during an Arctic exercise.
During the final rites, an emotional Putin could be seen repeatedly placing his head in front of his friend’s open coffin.
At one point, he even reached into the coffin and appeared to touch Zenichev’s body.
During the Putin service, Zeni sat next to the chef’s widow, Natalia, and was seen comforting her at all times.
At one point he reached out to grab her hand as she cried.
Zenityev became head of Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry in 2018. Prior to that, he spent several years as part of Putin’s security briefing.
The ministry issued a statement on Wednesday confirming Zeni Chef’s death but did not say where or how he died.
All he said was that he was trying to save film director Alexander Melnik, who had come to the site of a large-scale rehearsal that Zenchev had opened in the Russian Arctic on Tuesday.
Russia’s RBC News site reports that Zeni Chef jumped into the water after the cameraman slipped and fell.
Post with wires.