A helicopter crash in Kyiv suburb, Brovary has killed at least 14 people, including Ukraine’s Interior Minister, Denys Monastyrskyi.
Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said at least 14 people were killed in the crash, including nine aboard the helicopter, and one child on the ground. It said 25 people have been injured, including 11 children.
Early official reports gave a different number of casualties, including a higher death count.
According to Ihor Klymenko, Chief of Ukraine’s National Police, the Interior Minister, Denys Monastyrskyi, his Deputy, Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Yurii Lubkovych were among those killed in the crash.
Monastyrskyi is the most senior Ukrainian official to have died since the start of the war with Russia almost 11 months ago.
Officials and media reports said the helicopter crashed near a kindergarten and a residential building.
“At the time of the tragedy, there were children and the staff in the kindergarten. At the moment, everyone was evacuated,” Kuleba stated on Telegram.
There was no immediate word on whether the crash was an accident or a result of the war with Russia. No fighting has been reported recently in the Kyiv area.
Ukraine first lady Olena Zelenska wiped her teary eyes and pinched her nose in emotion minutes before attending a World Economic Forum session in Davos, Switzerland. “Another very sad day today — new losses,” Zelenska said.
The Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko intimated, “Haven’t had time to recover from one tragedy, there is already another one.”
Forum President, Borge Brende requested 15 seconds of silence after opening the session to honor the Ukrainian officials killed in the crash.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy described the crash as “a terrible tragedy” on a “black morning.” “The pain is unspeakable,” he wrote on Telegram.
British Home Secretary, Suella Braverman called the 42-year-old Monastyrskyi “a leading light in supporting the Ukrainian people during Putin’s illegal invasion.” Braverman added that she was “struck by his determination, optimism and patriotism.”
Political analyst, Volodymyr Fesenko said that Monastyrskyi was in charge of police and emergency services that dealt with the consequences of Russian strikes and de-mining.
Senior officials routinely travel by helicopter during the conflict, and the tragedy may prompt Kyiv to enforce a rule that exists in many European countries stating that top officials should not fly on the same aircraft, Fesenko said.
Local police Chief, Volodymyr Tymoshko noted that the officials on the helicopter were due to visit Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region.
The helicopter that crashed was a French-manufactured Super Puma. A French defense official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the helicopter was sold to Ukraine in 2019 and was not part of equipment that France has provided to Ukraine since the start of the war.
Security Service Of Ukraine Conducts An Investigation
Prosecutor General, Andriy Kostin divulged that the Security Service of Ukraine is conducting an investigation. “For now, we are considering all possible versions of the helicopter crash accident,” Kostin said on Telegram.
The crash came at a particularly dark period in the war for Ukraine, just days after the Russian strike on the apartment building in southeastern Ukraine killed 45 people, including six children; the deadliest attack on civilians since the spring.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak tweeted his condolences, adding that Ukrainians will continue to die as long as Putin “continues his needless war.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz tweeted that the crash “shows once again the huge price that Ukraine is having to pay in this war.”
Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal announced that Ihor Klymenko, the National Police Chief, has been appointed as acting Interior Minister.
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