(UnitedVoice.com) – The Russian invasion of Ukraine has caused nothing but destruction and death. Weeks before the conflict reaches its one-year anniversary, more Ukrainians have died. This time, in a tragic helicopter crash near a school.
On Wednesday, January 18, a helicopter carrying three crew members and six officials from the Interior Ministry crashed just outside Kyiv en route to Kharkiv. All of the people aboard the aircraft died in the accident. That includes the highest-ranking official to die in the war, Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky. He reportedly oversaw the police force in the country, border patrol, and emergency services. The minister also helped Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy shape his goals for the war. He served on the National Security and Defense Council.
The New York Times reported the officials were traveling to one of the war’s hot spots inside Ukraine at the time of the crash. Though the accident and resulting deaths of those on board were unfortunate all on their own, one factor made it even worse.
The helicopter crashed into a kindergarten in a residential neighborhood in Kyiv. Sixteen people died as a result of the accident, including at least one child. An estimated 25 people suffered injuries, including 11 children among those hurt.
President Joe Biden sent his “deepest condolences” to the victims’ families.
Jill and I send our deepest condolences to the families of all those killed in the tragic helicopter crash in Ukraine this morning – including Minister of Internal Affairs Monastyrskyy, a reformer and patriot.
We grieve with all those who are mourning this heartbreaking tragedy.
— President Biden (@POTUS) January 18, 2023
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country would continue to stand with the war-torn nation and wished injured victims a speedy recovery.
The news of the helicopter crash in Brovary is incredibly tragic. I’m sending my condolences to the families of the victims, to President @ZelenskyyUa, and to the Ukrainian people – and I’m wishing a fast and full recovery to the injured. Canada continues to stand with Ukraine.
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) January 18, 2023
The helicopter may have been flying low to avoid falling victim to Russian missiles. The BBC reported Zelenskyy spoke at the World Economic Forum in Davos after the crash, calling it a “black morning.” He went on to say that even though his country didn’t “start the war,” Ukraine would have to be the one to end the conflict.
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