On Wednesday, a tragic helicopter crash occurred in a suburb of Kyiv, Ukraine, resulting in 18 deaths, including that of Ukraine’s Interior Minister, Denys Monastyrskyi, and his deputy, Yevhen Yenin, as well as State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Yurii Lubkovych. This is a significant loss for the Ukrainian government as Interior Minister Monastyrskyi was in charge of the Ukrainian police and other emergency services. He is the highest-ranking Ukrainian official to have died since the start of the war with Russia almost 11 months ago.
The cause of the crash, which occurred in the eastern suburb of Brovary, is currently being investigated. No fighting has been reported recently in the Kyiv area, and it is not yet clear if the crash was an accident or related to the ongoing war with Russia. However, three children were also among those killed and 29 people were injured, including 15 children.
Kyiv Regional Governor Oleksii Kuleba confirmed that three children were killed in the crash. Earlier, officials and media reports indicated that the helicopter crashed near a kindergarten. The Ukrainian First Lady, Olena Zelenska, expressed her sadness at the event and requested 15 seconds of silence at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to honor the Ukrainian officials killed in the crash.
This tragic crash comes just four days after a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in southeastern Ukraine killed 45 civilians, including six children, which was the deadliest attack on civilians since the spring. The Deputy Head of the Ukrainian Presidential Office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, expressed his sadness at the recent events, “Haven’t had time to recover from one tragedy, there is already another one.”
Ukraine’s prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin, stated that all possible versions of the helicopter crash accident are being considered and the investigation is being carried out by the Security Service of Ukraine. The tragic loss of life has sent shockwaves through the country, and the thoughts and condolences of the nation are with the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives.