Volodymyr Zelenskyy commemorates those killed in a helicopter crash in Kyiv

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier this week held an emotional meeting with the families of those killed in a helicopter crash in Kyiv.

We spoke to family members of seven people who died in Wednesday’s crash in the Brovary area of ​​the capital.

The helicopter carrying Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi and other senior officials crashed into a kindergarten building in a residential suburb, killing him and about a dozen other people, including a child on the ground.

Mr Monastyrskyi, who oversaw the country’s police and emergency services, is the most senior official to be killed since Russia invaded Ukraine.

His death, along with the rest of his ministry’s leadership and the entire helicopter crew, marked Ukraine’s second major disaster in four days after a Russian missile struck an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro, killing dozens of civilians.

At the sombre service in Kyiv, Mr Zelensky and his wife laid flowers on the seven coffins draped in the blue and yellow flags of Ukraine. Then he spoke briefly to the families while a small orchestra played.

The cause of the crash is not known, but Mr Zelensky previously said it happened because the country is at war. This view was echoed by Ruslan Stefanchuk, Speaker of the Ukrainian Parliament, after the service.

“All of this would not have happened without this terrible and undeclared war that the Russian Federation is waging against Ukraine,” Mr Stefanchuk said. “So we must remember and not forget these people. Because for Ukraine and Ukrainians, every lost life is a great tragedy.”

Russia’s war in Ukraine, nearing the end of its 11th month, is “at an impasse”, with Ukrainian forces in the north-east, near the city of Kreminna, appearing to have made small gains, while Russian forces “probably newly formed”. the eastern town of Soledar after taking it earlier in the week, Britain’s Ministry of Defense said.

“There is a realistic possibility of local Russian advances” around Bakhmut, an eastern city whose capture would bring the Kremlin a long-awaited victory after months of battlefield setbacks, the ministry said in its regular update.

Fierce fighting raged around Bakhmut and three civilians were killed by Russian shelling in that area of ​​eastern Donetsk region, the deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office said on Saturday morning.

Kyrylo Tymoshenko said that in the past 24 hours, Russian shelling killed five civilians and wounded 13 in eastern and southern Ukraine, where active fighting is ongoing.

Ukrainian forces repelled Russian attacks in Bakhmut and other parts of the embattled east of the country overnight, the military said on Saturday morning.

A 60-year-old woman died after Russian shells hit her home in the northeastern Kharkiv region, local governor Oleh Syniehubov said. He added that four other people were wounded in the province.

A woman was also killed in the southern Zaporizhia region, where Russian forces launched more than 160 shell attacks overnight, Governor Oleksandr Starukh said. He added that 21 towns were attacked and two other civilians injured.

https://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/world-news/volodymyr-zelensky-honours-people-killed-in-helicopter-crash-in-kyiv-42304457.html Volodymyr Zelenskyy commemorates those killed in a helicopter crash in Kyiv

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