A helicopter crashed in the city of Brovary, on the outskirts of Ukraine’s capital, Kyiv region on Wednesday, January 18, killing at least 18 people, including Ukraine’s entire interior ministry leadership team, according to officials.
Anton Geraschenko, a ministry adviser, confirmed on social media that among the passengers killed were Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky, First Deputy Minister Yevheniy Yenin, and State Secretary Yuriy Lubkovychis.
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The helicopter that crashed was a Eurocopter EC225 “Super Puma.” At least 29 others were injured in the incident including three children, according to Oleksiy Kuleba, head of the Kyiv Regional Military Administration.
President Volodymyr Zelensky has expressed grief over the terrible tragedy that claimed the lives of “true patriots”. He has said that he has ordered the Ukrainian Security Services to “to find out all the circumstances.” “May they rest in peace! May all those whose lives were taken this black morning rest in peace!” he said.
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The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said that at the time of the mishap, the minister had been en route to a war “hot spot” when his helicopter went down.
Although there has been no indication that the crash was anything other than an accident, witnesses said Russia’s war was to blame for the disaster.
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“It was very foggy and there was no electricity, and when there’s no electricity there are no lights on the buildings,” local resident Volodymyr Yermelenko told the BBC.
The chopper crashed near a kindergarten and a residential building. The kindergarten building was left badly damaged from the impact. “At the time of the tragedy, there were children and the staff in the kindergarten. At the moment, everyone was evacuated,” he wrote on Telegram.