Ukraine helicopter crash and interior minister’s death: Zelensky and other leaders react

Ukraine’s interior minister and 17 people, including three children, died in a helicopter crash near Kyiv, state police said. President Volodymyr Zelensky responded to the tragedy.

hasAt least 18 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister and three children, were killed in a helicopter crash near a kindergarten in the Kyiv region on Wednesday, the national police said.

The Ukrainian president said on Wednesday that Minister Denys Monastyrsky is a forward-looking helicopter.

“The purpose of this flight is (to go) to one of the hot spots where fighting is taking place in our country. The interior minister was on his way there,” Kyrillo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential cabinet, said on Ukrainian television.

“Terrible Tragedy”

“Today, a terrible tragedy occurred in Brovary,” a large city bordering the eastern suburbs of Kew, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy lamented in a telegram. “The pain is indescribable. The helicopter fell on the kindergarten grounds,” he added.

Ukraine’s Prime Minister Denys Chymikal has mourned the death of Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi as a “huge loss”.

“The tragedy in Brovary. (…) is a great loss for the government of Ukraine and the entire state,” he said in a telegram, calling for the “immediate creation of a special committee for a detailed investigation into the circumstances of the tragedy.”

European Council President Charles Michel, for his part, expressed his sadness on Twitter over the death of the Ukrainian interior minister, a “best friend of the EU,” and expressed his “deepest condolences” to the Ukrainian people.

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German Interior Minister Nancy Fasser announced on Wednesday that Kyiv had provided “support” from Germany in an investigation aimed at clarifying the causes of the crash.

The accident was “terrible news”, he said in a press release, adding that he was “deeply saddened” by the death of his colleague and his collaborators, as well as the children.

“The number of victims has increased. As of 10:30 a.m., 18 people have died, including 3 children,” the region’s governor, Oleksiy Kuleba, said in a Telegram.

“29 people, including 15 children, have been injured,” he said, raising fears of a higher death toll.

Among the dead were Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky, 42, his first deputy Yevgeny Yenin and the ministry’s state secretary Yuri Lubkovich, who were on the plane with six others.

“My colleagues, my friends. What a sad loss. Deepest condolences to their families”, Mr. Monastirsky’s adviser, Anton Gerachenko, responded on Twitter.

There is no information on the cause of the tragedy

The accident happened in Browery, a town of about 100,000 people that touches the eastern suburbs of Kew. Significant fighting pitted Ukrainians and Russians against Moscow as forces from Moscow tried to force a lock on the capital in the first weeks of their invasion.

At the time of the tragedy, the “children and staff” of the kindergarten located near the site of the accident were on site, Mr. Kouleba said.

According to footage posted on social media, a large fire broke out after the helicopter crashed, including a residential building nearby.

Regional governor Oleksiï Kouleba said “children and staff” of the nursery school were there at the time of the tragedy.

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According to footage posted on social media, the helicopter crashed causing a massive fire.

No information on the cause of the tragedy was immediately released.

The crashed plane belonged to the State Service for Emergency Situations under the Ministry of Internal Affairs, a spokesman for the Air Force of Ukraine said.

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