President Volodymyr Zelensky met solemnly with family members of some of the victims of Wednesday’s fatal helicopter crash, which claimed the lives of 14 people, including the country’s interior minister.
During a memorial service held Saturday in the country’s capital, when the president and his wife, Olena Zelenska, put flowers on each of seven coffins, Zelensky allegedly spoke with relatives of seven of those killed in the crash in the Brovary region of Kyiv.
More than a dozen people, including a kid on the ground, were killed when the helicopter carrying Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastryrskyi and other officials collided with a daycare.
The cause of the crash is unknown, although both Zelensky and Ruslan Stefanchuk, the president of the Ukrainian parliament, attributed it to the ongoing conflict with Russia.
Stefanchuk stated, “None of this would have occurred if not for the terrible undeclared war that the Russian Federation is waging against Ukraine.” Therefore, we must keep this in mind and not forget these individuals. Because for Ukraine and Ukrainians, each life lost is a tragic loss.”
According to Ukraine National Police, the helicopter, a French-manufactured Super Puma, was being flown by Ukraine’s State Emergency Service when it crashed, killing Monastryrskyi and four other Interior Ministry officials, a national police official, and three helicopter crew members.
Monastryrskyi was in control of police and emergency services entrusted with responding to Russian strikes and demining, according to analyst Volodymyr Fesenko. During times of conflict, senior officials sometimes travel by helicopter at low altitudes.
According to Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal, Ukraine nominated National Police Chief Ihor Klymenko as acting interior minister following the death of Monastryrskyi.