A helicopter carrying Ukraine’s interior minister and other government officials crashed Wednesday in a residential area near the capital of Kyiv, killing him and about a dozen other people, including a child on the ground, authorities said.
Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, who oversaw the country’s police and emergency services, is the most senior official killed since Russia invaded nearly 11 months ago. His death, along with two others from his ministry, was the second calamity in four days to befall Ukraine, after a Russian missile struck an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro, killing dozens of civilians.
There was no immediate word on whether the helicopter crash, which came on a foggy morning near a kindergarten in Kyiv’s eastern suburb of Brovary, was an accident or related to the war, but Ukrainian authorities immediately opened an investigation. No fighting has been reported recently in the capital region.
Ukraine’s State Emergency Service said at least 14 people were killed in the crash, including nine aboard the helicopter, and one child on the ground. It said 25 people have been injured, including 11 children. Early official reports gave a different number of casualties, including a higher death toll.
Kyiv regional Gov. Oleksii Kuleba told Ukrainian television that emergency services were still identifying remains recovered and that the death toll could rise.