A helicopter crash in Kyiv, a Ukrainian suburb, has killed 18 people, including the head of the Interior Ministry and children

Kyiv, Ukraine — A helicopter crash in a Kyiv suburb on Wednesday killed 18 people, including Ukraine’s Interior Minister and three children, Ukrainian authorities said.

It was initially unclear whether the crash was an accident or a consequence of the war with Russia. No fighting has been reported in the Kyiv region recently.

According to Ihor Klymenko, head of Ukraine’s national police, among those killed were Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Interior Ministry Yurii Lubkovych.

Monastyrskyi, who was in charge of Ukraine’s police and other emergency services, is the most senior Ukrainian official to die since the war with Russia began nearly 11 months ago.

Nine of those killed were on board the rescue helicopter that crashed in Brovary, an eastern suburb of the Ukrainian capital, Klymenko said.

Kyiv regional governor Oleksii Kuleba said three children were also killed. Earlier, officials and media reports said the helicopter crashed near a kindergarten.

A total of 29 people were injured, including 15 children, the regional governor said.

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“Right now we are considering all possible versions of the helicopter crash accident,” Ukraine’s Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said on Telegram.

The investigation will be conducted by the Security Service of Ukraine, he said.

Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, stuck tears in her eyes and pinched her nose in emotion before attending a session of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“Another very sad day today – new casualties,” she said.

Forum President Borge Brende asked for 15 seconds of silence after opening the session to honor Ukrainian officials killed in the crash.

The crash came just four days after a Russian missile attack on an apartment building in south-east Ukraine killed 45 civilians, including six children – the deadliest attack on civilians since the spring.

“I didn’t have time to recover from one tragedy, there’s already another,” said Deputy Head of Ukraine’s Presidential Office Kyrylo Tymoshenko.

Copyright © 2023 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

https://abc7.com/russia-ukraine-war-russian-putin-kyiv-helicopter/12715305/ A helicopter crash in Kyiv, a Ukrainian suburb, has killed 18 people, including the head of the Interior Ministry and children

Laura Coffey

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