Ukraine Russia war latest news: Helicopter crash near Kyiv leaves at least 14 dead, including interior minister


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Ukraine’s interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi and a child are among at least 14 people dead after a helicopter crashed while heading towards the northeastern city of Kharkiv, officials say.

President Volodymyr Zelensky described the crash as a “terrible tragedy” and said that it had been a “black morning”. The death toll has been revised a number of times, with offcials saying earlier it could be as high as 18 people including a number of children. Mr Zelensky said the number of dead was still being determined.

“The pain is unspeakable,” Mr Zelensky said, offering his condolences to the victims’ friends and families. The helicopter went down beside a nursery in Brovary, a suburb east of Kyiv. Mr Monastyrskyi, responsible for the police and security inside Ukraine, would be the most senior Ukrainian official to die since the war began.

Nine of those killed were onboard the emergency services helicopter, according to national police chief Ihor Klymenko, who was appointed acting interior minister later in the day. The nine on the helicopter included six ministry officials. The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the minister had been en route to a war “hot spot”. That was confirmed to be Kharkiv by the regional police chief for the area, Volodymyr Tymoshko.

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Ukraine needs a “significant increase” in weapons at a pivotal moment in Russia’s invasion and such support is the only way to a negotiated peaceful solution, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said.

Nato and fefence leaders from around 50 countries will hold talks at Germany’s Ramstein Air Base on Friday, the latest in a series of meetings since Russian forces swept into Ukraine nearly 11 months ago.

“This is a pivotal moment in the war and the need for a significant increase in support for Ukraine,” Mr Stoltenberg told Reuters in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

“If we want a negotiated peaceful solution tomorrow we need to provide more weapons today.”

The focus in Ramstein is expected to be not on what the United States will provide but on whether Germany will lift its opposition to sending its Leopard battle tanks to Ukraine or at least approve their transfer from allied countries.

Poland and Lithuania have pledged to send the tanks but require the consent of Germany.

Stoltenberg in Davos today

(Reuters)

Liam James18 January 2023 15:09

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Zelensky and Monastyrskyi seen together yesterday

Volodymyr Zelensky was seen meeting his late interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi just yesterday.

A photo provided by the Ukrainian president’s press service showed the pair speaking in Kyiv, hours before Mr Monastyrskyi was killed in a helicopter crash.

Mr Zelensky said he had ordered an investigation into what he called a “terrible tragedy” which also killed the minister’s deputy, Yevheniy Yenin, and other ministry officials among others.

“The pain is unspeakable,” the president said in a statement.

Zelensky and Monastyrskyi meet yesterday

(AP)

Liam James18 January 2023 14:45

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Crash death toll revised

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service has revised the death toll from the crash down, saying 14 people had died – including one child.

Chris Stevenson18 January 2023 14:21

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Ukraine appoints acting interior minister after crash

Ukraine’s government appointed national police chief Ihor Klymenko as acting interior minister after the former office holder was among at least 17 people killed in a helicopter crash near Kyiv, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said.

Mr Shmyhal announced the appointment hours after Denys Monastyrskyi’s death.

He said Mr Klymenko had officially been appointed to the role of deputy interior minister, but would fulfil the responsibilities of the minister.

Liam James18 January 2023 14:10

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Germany’s Scholz: helicopter crash shows ‘immense toll’ Ukraine paying in war

German chancellor Olaf Scholz said on Wednesday that the helicopter crash in Ukraine that left at least 16 people dead, including the interior minister, showed the “immense toll” Ukraine is paying in the war against Russia.

“Our thoughts on this sad day are with the families of the victims and the injured, and with (Ukrainian President Volodymyr) Zelensky, who lost his interior minister today,” said Scholz on Twitter.

Matt Mathers18 January 2023 13:40

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Putin: Russian victory in Ukraine is ‘inevitable’

President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that a Russian victory in Ukraine was “inevitable” in remarks broadcast on state TV.

In televised remarks to workers during a visit to a weapons factory in his home town of St Petersburg, Putin told workers and reporters: “Victory is assured, I have no doubt about it.”

Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov was reported to have made similar remarks earlier.

Matt Mathers18 January 2023 13:20

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Helicopter death toll up to 17

Ukraine’s State Emergency Service have said that 17 people were killed in the helicopter crash, including nine people who were aboard the helicopter and four children on the ground.

It said 25 people have been injured, including 11 children. Early official reports gave slightly different casualty figures, including a higher death toll.

Chris Stevenson18 January 2023 13:07

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West’s ‘hybrid war’ won’t stop Russia – Kremlin

Russia will achieve its objectives in Ukraine despite a “hybrid war” waged by the West against Moscow, Moscow’s top diplomat insisted on Wednesday.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said the goals of Moscow’s “special military operation” in Ukraine are “determined by Russia’s core legitimate interests” and will be fulfilled.

“There must be no military infrastructure in Ukraine that poses a direct threat to our country,” he said, adding that Moscow also intends to make sure the rights of ethnic Russians in Ukraine are protected.

Chris Stevenson18 January 2023 12:43

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Interior ministry officials were heading for Kharkiv

Officials from the Ukrainian Interior Ministry were on their way to Kharkiv before their helicopter crashed this morning, according to regional police chief for the area, Volodymyr Tymoshko.

“Today I was supposed to welcome, to shake hands with, to meet… not only the leaders, no, but friends whom I respected and awaited,” Mr Tymoshko wrote on Facebook.

“Today I have talked with everyone who was on board, and drove out to meet them,” he said.

Tymoshko added that their deaths are “an irreparable loss.”

Kharkiv is in northeast Ukraine, and the helicopter crashed in Brovary, east of the Ukrainian capital Kyiv.

Chris Stevenson18 January 2023 12:36

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Death toll of crash now at least 16

The deputy head of the president’s office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, has announced that the death toll in the helicopter crash now stands at 16. He added that 30 others had been injured, including 12 children. Many had burns, officials said.

Chris Stevenson18 January 2023 12:31



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