THIS was the horror moment a top Russian parachutist plunged to his death in an event to mark Putin's 71st birthday.
Rescuers desperately fought to save Dmitry Belyayev, 45, after he fell at high speed into water in Gudermes, Chechnya.
The daredevil skydiver was a member of the Russian national team and had completed more than 3700 jumps.
In a statement, the Parachuting Federation of Russia said: “The tragedy occurred while piloting a high-speed parachute.
“According to preliminary data, during his landing approach the parachutist made a mistake and did not calculate the height of the manoeuvre, as a result of which he collided with the water surface at an increased vertical speed.
“There were rescue services on site, including a mobile disaster medicine unit.
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“Medical workers fought for Dmitry’s life from the first minutes of the collision, and resuscitation measures were carried out on the spot.
“Doctors were unable to save the athlete’s life.”
The federation added Belyayev's death is an "irreparable loss for the entire parachute community”.
The Russian University of Special Forces hosted annual international parachuting competitions which were dedicated to Putin’s 71st birthday on Saturday, said the federation.
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“We express our condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased.”
Belyayev was from Pushkin, near St Petersburg.
Canopy piloting – also known as swooping – is considered highly dangerous and involves a skydiver performing aerial feats above a body of water.
The parachuter is tested for speed, distance and accuracy.
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