Kyiv helicopter crash kills 18, top Ukraine officials dead

AFP , Wednesday 18 Jan 2023

A helicopter crash in a Kyiv suburb Wednesday killed 18 people, including Ukraine's interior minister and three children, Ukrainian authorities said.

a helicopter fell near a kindergarten and a residential building (AFP)


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.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych were among those killed, according to Ihor Klymenko, chief of Ukraine's National Police.

Monastyrskyi, who was in charge of the Ukrainian police and other emergency services, is the most senior Ukrainian official to have died since the start of the war with Russia almost 11 months ago.

Nine of those killed were aboard the emergency services helicopter that crashed in Brovary, an eastern suburb of the Ukrainian capital, Klymenko said.

Kyiv Regional Governor Oleksii Kuleba said three children were also killed. Earlier, officials and media reports said the helicopter crashed near a kindergarten.

A total of 29 people were injured, including 15 children, the regional governor said.

``For now, we are considering all possible versions of the helicopter crash accident,'' Ukraine's prosecutor general, Andriy Kostin, said on Telegram.

The Security Service of Ukraine is carrying out the investigation, he said.

Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska dabbed teary eyes before attending a World Economic Forum session in Davos, Switzerland, as she heard the news that a helicopter carrying Ukraine's interior minister and other officials crashed in Ukraine.

Forum President Borge Brende requested 15 seconds of silence Wednesday to honor the 18 people killed in the crash, including Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi and other officials, before the opening session.

Zelenska said it was ``another very sad day today. New losses.``

She told those attending the session: ``I think you understand my emotions. Perhaps they're a little bit out of place in the political and economic dialogue, but I am sure that just as the war has changed the whole world, it has also changed all of our dialogue. We can also change this negative situation for the better.''

Her husband, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, is scheduled to speak via video later in the day as the Ukrainian delegation pushes for more weapons from international allies.

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