Ukrainian interior minister and at least seventeen other people were killed in a helicopter crash near Kiev on Wednesday.
At least 29 people were injured in the incident on Wednesday in a residential area in the city of Brovary, on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital, according to Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration.
Kuleba wrote on Telegram that three children were among the victims. The helicopter crashed near a kindergarten and an apartment block in Brovary, a town of around 110,000 people, located about eight kilometers northeast of Kiev.
After the crash a fire broke out close to the kindergarten and children and staff were moved from the building. Wreckage from the helicopter was visible outside a burning building.
Highest Profile Ukrainian Casualty
Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky, First Deputy Minister Yevheniy Yenin and Secretary of State Yuriy Lubkovychis died in the crash, Anton Geraschenko, an adviser to the ministry, confirmed on social media.
Nine of those killed were aboard the helicopter, according to the head of Ukraine’s National Police Igor Klimenko. The ill-fated aircraft belonged to the Ukrainian Emergencies Ministry, he added.
The Interior Ministry said it’s looking into several possible reasons for the crash, including malfunction of equipment, violation of security rules and sabotage.
Monastyrsky, the 42-year-old interior minister, was a prominent member of President Volodymy Zelensky’s cabinet and played a key role in updating the public on casualties caused by Russian missile strikes since Ukraine was invaded in February 2022.
Monastyrsky is the highest profile Ukrainian casualty since Russia’s operation began, although there is no indication that the crash was anything more than an accident.
The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the minister had been en route to a war “hot spot” when his helicopter went down.
Source: Agencies and Websites