Ukraine interior minister, top officials among 14 killed in copter crash


A helicopter carrying senior Ukrainian officials crashed on Wednesday in a Kyiv suburb, killing 14 people, according to emergency officials. The crash killed all nine people aboard the helicopter: interior minister Denys Monastyrsky and four other ministry officials, including Monastyrsky’s deputy, Yevhen Yenin, and state secretary of the mini stry of internal affairs Yurii Lubkovych; a national police official and the three crew members. The officials were flying to Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region.
Monastyrsky was the highest-ranking government official to die since Russia’s invasion began in February last year. The death of Monastyrsky and his top deputy dealt a body blow to a government ministry that had played a critical role in the war effort. Among other things the interior minister oversees the police and emergency services, handling rescue efforts after missile strikes and clearing mines. Monastyrsky had been a political ally of President Volodymyr Zelensky since before he took office and has served on the National Securityand Defence Council, a policymaking body that sets wartime goals. President Zelensky, addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos on Wednesday, called for a minute of silence to honour those killed and then made a passionate speech, in English, imploring the country’s allies to move faster in their support for his country. “The time the free world uses to think is used by the terrorist state to kill,” he said.
The aircraft, owned by the State Emergency Services, crashed into a kindergarten in the eastern Kyiv suburb of Brovary. A child on the ground was also killed, and at least 25 people were injured, including 11 children. The crash occurred at 8. 20am (local time), a time of day when parents typically drop their children off at the school. The cause of the crashwas not clear, but there was no initial information that the aircraft had been shot down.
Earlier, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of the Ukrainian president’s office, had said the government officials onboard the helicopter had been travelling to one of the “hot spots” in Ukraine. Senior officials routinely travel by helicopter at low altitudes and high speed during the conflict, increasing the inherent dangers associated with the flights. There was no immediate word on whether the crash was an accident or directly related to the war. It happened on a foggy morning and no fighting has been reported recently in the capital region. Anton Gerashchenko, an adviser to ministry of internal affairs, said the cause of the tragedy was being “established by investigators”. “We’ll soon find out whether it was sabotage, a technical malfunction or a violation of flight safety rules. ”
Images posted from the scene showed smoke rising over a residential area in the suburb, Brovary, and a long trail of fire that could be where fuel was spilled. One photo appeared to show damage to the upper storey of the kindergarten, and another showed the crumpled remains of the helicopter, some of the seats still visible. A witness told Suspilne, Ukraine’s national public broadcaster, that she had seen the helicopter on fire and spinning in a circle before it hit the ground.

Ukraine Interior Affairs Minister Denys Monastyrsky, 15 others killed in helicopter crash

Ukraine Interior Affairs Minister Denys Monastyrsky, 15 others killed in helicopter crash

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