- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 18, 2023

The head of Ukraine’s Interior Ministry and at least three other government officials died Wednesday in a helicopter crash near a school in a suburb of Kyiv.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s office said at least 16 people were killed in the crash, including three children.

“It is an indescribable pain,” Mr. Zelenskyy said in a statement.

Among the dead are Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky; his deputy, Yevhenly Yenin; and Interior Ministry state secretary Yuriy Lubkovychia, Ukrainian officials confirmed.

At least 30 people, including 12 children, were injured in the crash of the French-made Super Puma helicopter.

Mr. Zelenskyy ordered officials to “fully investigate” all circumstances of the crash.

“May all those whose lives were taken this black morning rest in peace,” Mr. Zelenskyy said in a statement.

Mr. Monastyrsky was the highest-ranking government official to die since Russia’s invasion began in February. The helicopter crash occurred days after a Russian missile strike on an apartment building in the Ukrainian city of Dnipro killed dozens of civilians. 

The cause of the crash wasn’t immediately known, but Ukrainian officials have not suggested that Moscow may have been behind it.

• Mike Glenn can be reached at mglenn@washingtontimes.com.

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