Interior Minister of Ukraine among 18 killed in helicopter crash

Eighteen people, including the Minister Of Inside from Ukraine, other senior ministerial officials and three children were killed on Wednesday morning when a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten on the outskirts of Kiev, Ukrainian authorities said.

The regional governor said 29 people were also injured, including 15 children, when the helicopter crashed in a residential area of ​​Brovary, on the northeastern outskirts of the capital.

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Several corpses wrapped in foil blankets lay in a courtyard near the nursery. Rescuers attended the scene. Debris was scattered across a playground.

The head of the Ukrainian police, Ihor Klymenkosaid the Minister Of Inside, Denys Monastyrskyihad died along with his first deputy, Yevheny Jeninand other responsible by helicopter Of state emergency service.

“There were children and (…) staff in the kindergarten at the time of this tragedy,” wrote the governor of the Kyiv region on the Telegram messaging app, Oleksy Kuleba.

Authorities did not immediately provide an explanation for the cause. Of helicopter crash. There were no immediate comments from Russia, whose troops invaded Ukraine last February, and Ukrainian authorities did not mention any Russian attacks on the area at the time.

Monastyrskyi, head of police and security in the inside of Ukraine, he would be the highest-ranking Ukrainian official to die since the war began.

Separately, Ukraine reported heavy overnight fighting in the east Of country, where both sides have suffered huge losses from little progress in the intense trench warfare of the past two months.

Ukrainian forces have repelled attacks on the eastern town of Bakhmut and the southern village of Klishchiivka, the Ukrainian military said. Russia has focused on Bakhmut in recent weeks and last week it said it had seized the mining town of Soledar on its northern outskirts.

After the great Ukrainian progress in the second half of 2022, the lines Of front have hardened over the last couple of months. Kyiv hopes new Western weapons will allow it to resume an offensive to recapture ground, particularly heavy tanks which would give its troops mobility and protection to break through Russian lines.

Western allies are meeting on Friday at a US airbase in Germany to pledge more weapons for Ukraine. The focus is particularly on Germany, which has the right to veto any decision to send its Leopard tanks, used by militaries across Europe and widely considered the best suited for Ukraine.

Berlin says the tank decision will be the first item on Boris Pistorius’s new agenda Minister defence.

Britain, which broke the Western taboo on sending tanks over the weekend by promising a squadron of its Challengers, has asked Germany to approve the Leopards. Poland and Finland have already said they would be willing to send Leopardi if Berlin allows it.

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