- A helicopter crash in Ukraine killed at least 15 people including Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi.
- The cause of the crash is under investigation.
- The crash occurred amid a recent Russian missile attack on an apartment building in southeast Ukraine that killed 45 people.
On Wednesday, a helicopter crash in Ukraine near the capital of Kiev resulted in the deaths of at least 15 people, including Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi. Monastyrskyi was in charge of overseeing the country's police and emergency services, and his death marks the most senior official to pass away since Russia invaded Ukraine nearly 11 months ago. The crash also resulted in the deaths of Monastyrskyi's deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych, as well as three children.
It is not yet clear whether the crash was an accident or related to the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia. No fighting has been reported recently in the Kiev area. The helicopter was a Super Puma supplied by France.
The crash occurred in Brovary, an eastern suburb of Kiev, near a kindergarten. Wreckage from the helicopter was found on top of a charred vehicle and a building, with at least four bodies on the ground covered by reflective sheets. Officials were seen clearing debris from a playground near the kindergarten.
The crash comes at a particularly difficult time for Ukraine, coming just days after a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in southeastern Ukraine killed 45 people, including six children. This marks the deadliest attack on civilians since the spring.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the crash a "terrible tragedy" and expressed his condolences on Telegram. British Home Secretary Suella Braverman also paid tribute to Monastyrskyi, calling him "a leading light in supporting the Ukrainian people during Putin’s illegal invasion."
An investigation is currently being conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine, with prosecutor general Andriy Kostin stating that "all possible versions" of the crash are being considered. The World Economic Forum held 15 seconds of silence in honor of the Ukrainian officials killed and Ukraine's first lady, Olena Zelenska, expressed her sadness and condolences.