Interior Minister of Ukraine Denys Monastyrskyi died this morning when his helicopter crashed near a kindergarten in Brovary, Kiev region. According to the first information that emerged he was heading towards “hot spots” of the conflict. Among the victims also his deputy Yevhen Yenin and the secretary of state of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The news was given by the head of the national police Ihor Klymenko. The toll is 15 dead. Among them are three children.
Klymenko he specified that 9 of the fatal victims were traveling in the helicopter with the minister. The head of the regional military administration, Oleksiy Kuleba, added that 29 were injured. According to the first reports, the helicopter crashed into a kindergarten and then into a residential building. The weather conditions in the area this morning were not optimal, with heavy fog and poor visibility.
Immediate reactions. Anton Gerashchenko, adviser to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, spoke of a “tragedy” and confirmed the death toll. “My colleagues, my friends. What a tragic loss. Deepest condolences to their families,” added the adviser on Twitter.
“We have just been informed that the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs and the leadership of his ministry were killed in the helicopter crash near Kiev. An investigation is underway to establish the causes,” said the European Parliament president Roberta Metsola, “I think I speak for all of us in saying that our thoughts in this Chamber are with the brave people of Ukraine, the families and loved ones of Minister Monastyrskyi and his deputy, Yenin, and those killed. We are in mourning. We will continue to be by their side.”
Even the president of the Charles Michel European Council and the President of the Commission Ursula von der Leyen they expressed their condolences on twitter, remembering the Minister as “a friend of the EU”.
The Ukrainian prime minister, Denys Shmyhal, announced that he had “immediately” ordered the opening of a “detailed investigation” to shed light on the causes of the helicopter crash. “A great loss for the government team and for the entire state,” Shmyal commented on Telegram.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Ukrainian Air Force, Yuriy Ignat, explained that it will take time to ascertain the causes of the crash. “A day or two won’t be enough because the investigation of a plane crash takes time,” he said, according to local media reports.
Eyewitnesses reported that there was an explosion on board the helicopter that crashed today in Brovary, near Kiev: Espreso TV reports it. “People report that there was a strong explosion and that the helicopter whirled several times in the air and only then fell”. Investigators are working on the spot.