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BROVAR: Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky was killed on Wednesday when his helicopter crashed near Kyiv on his way to the front line amid the war with Russia, killing at least 18 people, including three children.

“The purpose of this flight (was to go) to one of the hot spots of our country where the battles are going on. The Minister of Internal Affairs was going there,” said Kirilo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the presidential cabinet. On Ukrainian TV.

In this June 09, 2022 file photo, Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky speaks to reporters during an interview with AFP in Kyiv. (AFP).

“There are also 29 wounded, 15 of whom are children,” according to Oleksii Kouleban, the governor of the region, in a Telegram message, raising fears of more heavy casualties.

President Volodymyr Zelenskiy called the accident a “terrible tragedy” and added that he had asked the national police to investigate the cause of the tragedy.

Prime Minister of Ukraine Denis Chmygal said in Telegram that the minister’s death is a “big loss”.

The President of the Council of the European Union, Charles Michel, said on his Twitter account that he was saddened by the death of “a great friend of the EU”.

In turn, French President Emmanuel Macron said on his Twitter page that he was “saddened by the tragic death of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Denis Monastyrsky”.

In the images circulated on social networks, it was seen that the remains of the helicopter were mixed with the debris next to the car that collapsed under the weight of the metal. According to the AFP team, firefighters and police were at the scene.

Apart from 42-year-old Denis Monastyrsky, his first deputy Yevgeny Ienin and the state secretary of the ministry Youri Lubkovich are among the victims. The head of the national police of Ukraine said that they were on board the plane together with 6 other people.

The minister, who is a former lawyer, has been in office since July 2021. In 2019, he was a member of the Rada of the Parliament of Ukraine with the label “Servant of the People”, the presidential party.

The accident happened in the city of Brovary, which has a population of 100,000, near the eastern suburbs of Kyiv. In the first weeks of the occupation, which began on February 24, 2022, there were serious battles against Ukrainians and Russians when troops from Moscow tried to forcefully close the lock of the capital.

Mr. Kouleba said that “children and staff” of a kindergarten located near the scene were at the scene when the tragedy occurred.

A new tragedy

According to images spread on social networks, a heavy fire started after a helicopter crashed near a residential building.

There was no immediate information on the cause of the tragedy.

According to Mr. Kouleba, the “circumstances” of this accident are “under investigation”.

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

One of the last major accidents of this type in Ukraine in recent years occurred in September 2020, when an Antonov-26 plane crashed near Kharkiv (North-East), killing 26 people.

The latest tragedy comes four days after a deadly strike on the Dnieper in eastern Ukraine, which Ukrainian officials attributed to Russian forces.

A rocket destroyed an apartment building on Saturday, killing at least 45 people, including six children, in one of the deadliest explosions since the start of the Russian occupation.

The youngest victim in the Dnieper “was 11 months old,” Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential cabinet, lamented Tuesday evening.

Emergency services pulled out the injured and lifeless bodies from under the huge concrete blocks.

This new attack on a civilian target has caused great emotion among the Ukrainian population, as the country has been fighting against the Russian occupation for almost 11 months, often under very difficult conditions.

Deposed President Zelensky promised to bring to justice “everyone guilty of this war crime” and said that the Russian army was directly responsible for this massacre.

Moscow, for its part, as in previous episodes, categorically denied any involvement in this bloody strike.

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