Ukraine’s interior minister Denys Monastyrskyy and other top officials were killed when a helicopter crashed near a nursery in Brovary, outside Kyiv.
The helicopter came down on Wednesday, 18 January near a nursery outside the capital, Kyiv, according to emergency services.
At least 14 people, including Monastyrskyy, his deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych and one child were killed in the crash.
It was not immediately clear what caused the helicopter to crash in the town of Brovary.
The State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SESU) said in its latest update the death toll at 3 PM local time (1 PM GMT) stood at 14, including one child.
Dozens of people, including children, were wounded.
Deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the helicopter was going to one of the “hot spots” of the war with Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called the crash “a terrible tragedy”.
Reporting for Al Jazeera from Kyiv, Natacha Butler said the deaths were a “huge blow” for the country “on a government level”. She said:
This is Ukraine’s interior minister, one of the highest posts in the country; his deputy.
These are key figures in Ukraine’s government at a time when the government is at war with Russia, so this will be a huge blow to the country no doubt.
You can only imagine some of the conversations happening right now, in Kyiv in those government circles as to what’s going to happen next.
Monastyrskyy (42), responsible for the police and security inside Ukraine, is the most senior Ukrainian official to die since the war began.
He was a trained lawyer and had served as Ukraine’s interior minister since July 2021.
Monastyrskyy was a key member of Zelenskyy’s party Servant of the People and was married, with two children. | Al Jazeera