Ukraine interior minister, others killed in helicopter crash

The interior minister of Ukraine was killed in a helicopter accident Wednesday near Kiev, killing more than a dozen people including children, authorities stated.

Denys Monastyrskyi is the Interior Minister of Ukraine. He was responsible for overseeing Ukraine’s emergency and police services. This is the highest ranking official to have died since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago. After a Russian missile attack on an apartment building that killed many civilians, his death and two others from his ministry were the second disaster for Ukraine in just four days.

Although there was no immediate information on whether the crash that occurred near a kindergarten in the morning was caused by war or an accident, the Ukrainian authorities opened an investigation. There has not been any fighting in the Kyiv region recently.

According to the Ukraine’s State Emergency Service, 17 people died in the crash. This includes nine people aboard the helicopter and four children on the ground. According to the State Emergency Service, 25 people were injured, 11 of them children. Initial official reports showed slightly different casualty numbers, with a higher death rate.

Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the Ukrainian President, described the crash in a description that was “a terrible tragedy” on “a dark morning.”

Telegram: “The pain is unimaginable,” he wrote.

Suella Braverman, British Home Secretary, called Monastyrskyi, 42 years old “a leading light” in support of the Ukrainian people during Putin’s illegal invasion. She stated that she was “struck” by his optimism and patriotism.

According to the chief of Ukraine’s National Police, Monastyrskyi’s deputy Yevhen Yenin as well as Yurii Lubkovych, State Secretary of Ministry of Internal Affairs were also among the victims. During the conflict, senior officials often travel by helicopter to high altitudes.

According to Ihor Klymenko, chief of police, nine of the victims were on board the chopper that crashed in Brovary. This is an eastern suburb of Kiev. Others died on the ground, according to reports.

Reflective sheets were placed on at least four victims of the accident, near a kindergarten. Officials removed large chunks of charred and mangled debris that had been lying on top of an apartment building and in a play area. Some walls were partially demolished and then blackened.

Yurii Ihnat spoke on behalf of Ukraine’s Air Forces and said that it was too soon to discuss the causes. According to him, an investigation could take some effort.

He added that the helicopter was a Super Puma from France.

According to a French defense official, the helicopter was purchased by Ukraine in 2019. It was not part the equipment France provided since the beginning of the war. According to ministry policy, he spoke under anonymity as he wasn’t authorized to identify himself.

According to Andriy Kostin, the Security Service of Ukraine is currently conducting an investigation. Telegram: “For the moment, we are considering all possibilities of the helicopter crash accident.”

Other developments Wednesday

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, defended his invasion Wednesday with a new variation on the arguments he used before. A gathering of veterans was told by the Russian leader that Moscow’s actions were meant to end a “war,” which has been raging for years in Ukraine, where Russia-backed separatists have fought Ukrainian forces.

“All that we do today as part the special military operations is an attempt stop this war.” He said that this is the purpose of our operation – to protect people living on these territories.”

The Western allies of Ukraine have rejected Russia’s arguments and stated that Kyiv was not a threat to Moscow and that the invasion was unprovoked.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reiterated that the goals of the invasion were “determined by Russia’s core legitimate interests.”

Lavrov stated at his annual news conference that “there must not be any military infrastructure in Ukraine which poses a direct threat for our country.” He stated that the goal for Ukraine’s Western allies was to exhaust Russia through the conflict.

According to Pavlo Kyrylenko, the governor of Donetsk Region, fighting continues in eastern Ukraine’s Bakhmut area and nearby Soledar salt mine town of Soledar.

According to the Ukrainian presidential office, 14 cities and villages were attacked in the Donetsk region. Two civilians were also wounded.

The Russian forces also attacked residential areas in the southern city Kherson. This was taken over by Kyiv’s military on November 11. Four people sustained injuries.

Wednesday’s helicopter accident comes just days after the Russian attack on an apartment building in southeastern Ukraine that killed 45 people and left six children dead — the most brutal attack on civilians since spring.

“Another very sad moment today — new losses,” declared Olena Zelenska (the first lady of Ukraine), rubbing her eyes and pinching her nose while she responded to the news at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

After opening the session, the forum observed silence for 15 seconds in honor of the Ukrainian officials who were killed.

“Haven’t had the time to recover from one tragic event, there is already a new one,” stated Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office.