Home world Putin promotes bodyguard to Emergencies Minister after predecessor fell to death from 90ft waterfall #Breakingnews

Putin promotes bodyguard to Emergencies Minister after predecessor fell to death from 90ft waterfall #Breakingnews

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Vladimir Putin has promoted his former personal bodyguard to be the Kremlin’s new Emergencies Minister, months after his predecessor mysteriously fell to his death from a waterfall.

Major-General Alexander Kurenkov, 49, nominated today by Putin, is the sixth bodyguard to the Russian president to be appointed to high government office.

The last man to hold the post was Yevgeny Zinichev, also an ex-Putin guard, who died falling down a 90ft waterfall amid suspicions of murder. 

Vladimir Putin has promoted his former personal bodyguard Alexander Kurenkov to be the Kremlin’s new Emergencies Minister (pictured together)

The last man to hold the post was Yevgeny Zinichev, also an ex-Putin guard, who died falling down a 90ft waterfall amid suspicions of murder (pictured at the Kremlin together in April 2020)

Nicknamed ‘the man without a face’, little is known about Kurenkov’s past and background, with claims he had served in the FSB counterintelligence agency as well as the FSO, responsible for guarding senior officials.

Pictures show ex-school teacher Kurenkov as a bodyguard close to Putin, now 69, on various visits.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: ‘Putin knows him well personally.

‘And the choice means that, according to the head of the state, Kurenkov’s personal, service, and professional qualities will allow him to serve in this function.’ 

Critics say an increasingly paranoid Putin only fully trusts those who have proved their loyalty by guarding his life. 

Nicknamed 'the man without a face', little is known about Kurenkov's past and background (pictured together)

Nicknamed ‘the man without a face’, little is known about Kurenkov’s past and background (pictured together)

Pictures show ex-school teacher Kurenkov as a bodyguard close to Putin, now 69, on various visits (circled right)

Pictures show ex-school teacher Kurenkov as a bodyguard close to Putin, now 69, on various visits (circled right)

Official records said Zinichev, who was ‘being groomed for tsardom as a possible successor’ to Putin, was killed trying to ‘save a man’ at the Kitabo-Oron waterfall in September at the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Siberia. 

Putin was visibly distraught at Zinichev’s funeral, calling his death an ‘irreplaceable personal loss’.

Some analysts believed Putin had been grooming Zinichev – like him once a KGB operative – as his eventual successor.

He had already served as deputy FSB director and second in command at the defence ministry.

Zinichev, who held the rank of general, had enjoyed a spectacular rise under Putin and had been tipped for a new powerful role on the Kremlin’s security council when he was killed in the mysterious Arctic incident.

Professor Valery Solovey – linked to Telegram Channel General SVR – claimed: ‘I will say right away that it was not the death, but the murder, of the general.

Putin was visibly distraught at Zinichev's funeral, calling his death an 'irreplaceable personal loss'

Putin was visibly distraught at Zinichev’s funeral, calling his death an ‘irreplaceable personal loss’

Some analysts believed Putin had been grooming Zinichev - like him once a KGB operative - as his eventual successor

Some analysts believed Putin had been grooming Zinichev – like him once a KGB operative – as his eventual successor

‘He did not die alone, several other people died with him.’

The man he allegedly tried to save, documentary-maker-cameraman Alexander Melnik, 63, also died.

Putin awarded him a posthumous Hero of Russia honour.

His replacement Kurenkov had ‘worked as Putin’s senior adjutant’, a source told RBC.

Later he was deputy director of the Russian national guard – which answers directly to Putin.

He was in recent years promoted to the rank of Major-General.

The ex-bodyguard’s appointment is expected to be rubber-stamped by the Russian parliament.

Dmitry Mironov, 53, is now an assistant to Putin after a stint as governor of Yaroslavl region

Dmitry Mironov, 53, is now an assistant to Putin after a stint as governor of Yaroslavl region

Emergencies Minister is a high profile job in Russia, battling with flooding, wildfires and storms, but also seen as a key security portfolio.

It was in this role that Sergei Shoigu — now defence minister — made his name.

It is unclear if Putin sees Kurenkov as a possible successor.

One ex-bodyguard Alexey Dyumin, 49, is governor of Tula region.

Another, Dmitry Mironov, 53, is now an assistant to Putin after a stint as governor of Yaroslavl region.

Yet another Sergei Morozov, 49, was made governor of Astrakhan region before returning to the secret services as a Major-General.

Highest flying of all ex-bodyguards is Uber-loyalist General Viktor Zolotov, 68, who heads the Russian national guard.

He had also been a guard to Russia’s first post-communist president Boris Yeltsin.

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