Helicopter Crash Near Kyiv Kills Top Officials and Children

Helicopter Crash Near Kyiv Kills Top Officials and Children
Brovary, Ukraine. © with Ukraine photo blog, via flickr.com, 2022


Felicia Insinger

Europe and Human Rights Researcher

Global Human Rights Defence

On the morning of 18 January 18th, a State Emergency Service helicopter crashed next to a kindergarten and started a fire in Brovary, a city in the Kyiv Oblast, east of Ukraine’s capital (The Kyiv Independent news desk, 2023). Ukraine’s Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, his deputy Yevhen Yenin, and the ministry’s secretary Yuriy Lubkovych, as well as two children, were killed, reported National Police Chief Ihor Klymenko in a Facebook statement (Klymenko, 2023).

According to the State Emergency Service, 17 people, including four children, were killed in the crash (The Kyiv Independent news desk, 2023). Nine of them were on board the helicopter, including six employees of the Interior Ministry and three members of the emergency service personnel (The Kyiv Independent news desk, 2023). Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the President’s Office of Ukraine, said that the members of the Interior Ministry were on their way to a “hot spot” of the war in the country when the helicopter crashed (Kinsha et al., 2023).

After the completion of search and rescue operations, the State Emergency Service further reported that 25 people were injured, including 11 children (Query, 2023). During a briefing at the scene of the crash, Tymoshenko said that some of the hospitalised victims were on life support (The Kyiv Independent news desk, 2023). 

Surviving children have been evacuated from the kindergarten, while emergency services are working to see if anyone remains trapped under the rubble (Query, 2023). Tymoshenko has suggested that given the crash happened during an early hour, the victims may include random pedestrians and parents taking their children to kindergarten (The Kyiv Independent news desk, 2023).    

Yuriy Ihnat, the spokesman of Ukraine’s Air Force, said that it was too early to determine the cause of the crash, which yet has to be investigated (The Kyiv Independent news desk, 2023). According to Ihnat, the crashed helicopter was the Aérospatiale AS.332 Super Puma, which was provided by France (The Kyiv Independent news desk, 2023).

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has expressed his condolences to the loved ones of the victims in a statement published on Telegram, calling the crash a “horrible tragedy” (The Kyiv Independent news desk, 2023).

In a video address at the World Economic Forum in Davos that same day, Zelenskyy said that the helicopter crash was not “just an accident” (Roschyna, 2023). “I believe, given my experience with war and the current state of our society, that this was not an accident – it was the war. War is not limited to the battlefield – it has many fronts There are no mere accidents. Everything that happens is the result of war,” Zelenskyy said (Roschyna, 2023). 

Sources and Further Reading:

Kinsha et al. (2023, January 18). У Броварах на Київщині впав гелікоптер, загинуло керівництво МВС. Що відомо. The Public Broadcasting Company of Ukraine. https://suspilne-media.translate.goog/361132-u-brovarah-na-kiivsini-pozeza-v-ditsadku-patero-ludej-poterpili/?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en

Klymenko, I. (2023, January 18). Сьогодні вранці, 18 січня, у Броварах розбився гвинтокрил ДСНС. Внаслідок авіакатастрофи загинуло керівництво МВС: міністр, перший заступник міністра та державний. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/iklymenko.fb 

The Kyiv Independent news desk. (2023, January 18). Helicopter crash kills interior minister, top officials, children. The Kyiv Independent. https://kyivindependent.com/news-feed/brovary-helicopter-crash-kills-top-interior-ministry-officials-children 

Roschyna, O. (2023, January 18). Зеленський про трагедію у Броварах: Кожна смерть – це результат війни. Ukrainska Pravda.  https://www-pravda-com-ua.translate.goog/news/2023/01/18/7385452/?_x_tr_sl=auto&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en 

Query, A. (2023, January 18). Deadly helicopter crash stuns Kyiv suburb. The Kyiv Independent. https://kyivindependent.com/national/deadly-helicopter-crash-stuns-kyiv-suburb