Authorities reported that a helicopter crash outside of Kyiv on Wednesday morning claimed the lives of at least 18 persons, including the interior minister of Ukraine and three children.

The country’s war with Russia was approaching the 11-month mark at the time of the accident, although its exact cause was not immediately known. Ihor Klymenko, the head of the national police, said in a statement that at least 9 of those murdered had been aboard the emergency services helicopter when it crashed in Brovary, a suburb approximately 15 miles northeast of the capital.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, his deputy Yevhen Yenin, and State Secretary Yurii Lubkovych were among the deceased, according to Klymenko. Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, stated in a statement that the death toll was still being determined but added of the deaths of three children, “The sadness is indescribable.”

“May all those whose lives were taken this black morning rest in peace!” he said. According to Oleksii Kuleba, the Kyiv Regional Military Administration chief, at least 29 persons, including 15 children, were receiving medical attention in hospitals. Their injuries’ full degree was not immediately apparent.

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According to Kuleba, the chopper crashed close to a residential structure and a kindergarten. “At the time of the tragedy, children and employees of the institution were in the kindergarten. At this point, everyone was evacuated,” Kuleba said. Video and images posted online by Ukrainian authorities showed smoke rising from the accident site and at least one building engulfed in flames.

18 Killed in Helicopter Crash Outside Kyiv Including Ukraine’s Interior Minister

The inquiry into the incident’s circumstances will be led by a special commission, according to Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal. The Ukrainian Air Force Command’s spokesperson, Yurii Ihnat, stated that the commission would include several aviation specialists. Ihnat remarked during a nationwide telethon, “It is too early to discuss the causes of the crash.”

Since Russian soldiers withdrew from the area following a botched attack on the capital, there have been no reports of violence in Kyiv for months. European and Ukrainian officials paid their respects to the deceased. “Tragedy far from the frontline, in Brovary,” foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

“I wish a speedy recovery to those injured. Denys Monastyrskyi and Yevhenii Yenin were close colleagues & friends of mine, true Ukrainian patriots. Huge loss for all of us,” he said. Shmyhal, the prime minister, said it was “a great loss for the government team and the entire state.”

“My sincere condolences to the families of all the victims,” he said. “My colleagues, my friends. What a tragic loss,” interior ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko wrote in a tweet. “Deepest condolences to their families.” According to The Associated Press, Olena Zelenska, the first lady of Ukraine, was also spotted wiping away tears on Wednesday morning before attending a meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Following the commencement of the session, Forum President Borge Brende requested 15 seconds of silence in remembrance of the Ukrainian officials killed in the collision. Additionally, tributes from world leaders started to flood social media.

The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, Bridget A. Brink, said on Twitter that she was “shocked and saddened by the terrible news from Brovary.” Charles Michel, president of the European Council, remembered Monastyrsky as a “great friend of the EU.” “We join #Ukraine in grief following the tragic helicopter accident in #Brovary,” he wrote in a tweet offering his condolences to the victims’ families and to Ukraine’s leadership.

Final Lines

A helicopter crashed near a kindergarten outside Kyiv on Wednesday morning, killing at least 18 people including Ukraine’s interior minister and three children, authorities said. The cause of the crash, which comes as the country’s war with Russia approaches the 11-month mark, was not immediately apparent. Follow our website for the latest news like this. Stay tuned for more updates at Lee