Ukraine interior minister, 13 others, killed in helicopter crash

Ukraine's minister Denys Monastyrsky, his second-in-command and 14 other senior officials were killed. The cause of the crash is unknown.

 A view shows the site a where a helicopter falls on civil infrastructure buildings, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 18, 2023.  (photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)
A view shows the site a where a helicopter falls on civil infrastructure buildings, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 18, 2023.
(photo credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

Ukraine's interior minister Denys Monastyrsky has been killed in a helicopter crash, along with his second-in-command and several other senior ministry officials. The government official was killed after the helicopter he was traveling in crashed outside Kyiv in the town of Brovary, the national police chief said.

The governor of the Kyiv region said earlier on Wednesday that a helicopter crashed near a nursery and a residential building earlier on Wednesday.

One child was among the dead and 10 of them were in the hospital, officials said.

A helicopter crashed by a nursery and residential building in the Ukrainian town of Brovary near Kyiv on Wednesday morning and casualties were confirmed, the regional governor said.

A police spokesperson told the Suspilne public broadcaster that at least five people were hurt and that there were also a number of dead. Reuters could not immediately reach her for comment by phone.

 A view shows the site where a helicopter falls on civil infrastructure buildings, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 18, 2023.  (credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO) A view shows the site where a helicopter falls on civil infrastructure buildings, amid Russia's attack on Ukraine, in the town of Brovary, outside Kyiv, Ukraine, January 18, 2023. (credit: REUTERS/VALENTYN OGIRENKO)

"There were children and ... staff in the nursery at the time of this tragedy. Everyone has now been evacuated. There are casualties," Kyiv region governor Oleksiy Kuleba wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

"There were children and... staff in the nursery at the time of this tragedy. Everyone has now been evacuated. There are casualties."

Olesksiy Kuleba

Videos shared on social media showed a burning building and people could be heard screaming. Reuters was unable immediately to verify the footage.

It was not immediately clear what caused the helicopter to crash. There was no immediate comment from Russia, whose troops invaded Ukraine last February, and Ukrainian officials made no reference to any Russian attack in the area at the time.

"We are finding out information about casualties and the circumstances," the deputy head of Ukraine's presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, wrote on the Telegram messaging app.

New acting interior minister appointed

Ukraine's government-appointed national police chief Ihor Klymenko as acting interior minister on Wednesday, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

Shmyhal announced the appointment hours after the previous minister was killed in the crash near Kyiv. He said Klymenko had officially been appointed to the role of deputy interior minister but would fulfill the responsibilities of the minister.