Kids, top minister among the dead in chopper crash near Ukraine kindergarten


▶ Watch Video: Ukraine president vows justice for those killed in Russian strike on Dnipro apartment complex

Kyiv, Ukraine — Ukraine’s interior minister was among at least 17 people, including two children, killed when a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten outside the capital of Kyiv, officials said Wednesday.

In a video that circulated online from the aftermath of the incident, cries could be heard at the scene, which was consumed by a fire.

There were no immediate details on the cause of the crash or whether it was an accident or stemmed from Ukraine’s war against Russia.

The Associated Press quotes Ihor Klymenko, chief of Ukraine’s National Police, as saying Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych were among the dead.

Nine of those killed were aboard the emergency services helicopter, the AP said.

Military members stand at the site where a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten outside the capital of Kyiv on Jan. 18, 2023.SERGEI SUPINSKY / AFP via Getty Images


Monastyrsky, a 42-year-old father of two, was appointed interior minister in 2021. He’s the most senior Ukrainian official to lose his life since Russia invaded Ukraine 11 months ago, according to the Reuters news service.

Twenty-two people were hospitalized, including 10 children.

Officials said that at the time of the crash that children and employees were in the kindergarten.

Medics and police were working at the scene, in the town of Brovary some 12 miles northeast of Kyiv.

Russian and Ukrainian forces fought for control of Brovary in the early stages of Moscow’s invasion until Russia’s troops withdrew in early April.

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops into pro-Western Ukraine on February 24 last year.

The crash came on the heels of a tragedy that saw 45 people, including six children, die when a Russian missile struck a residential building in the eastern city of Dnipro over the weekend.

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