Authorities have confirmed that the Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine was among 14 victims of a helicopter crash near a nursery in Kyiv suburb.
The scene shows huge flames and plumes of smoke rising into the sky from Brovary, northeast of the capital.
The incident resulted in the deaths of Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, First Deputy Minister Yevhen Yenin, and a child.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy stated that the officials were “true patriots” of Ukraine.
He said, “It’s an indescribable hurt.”
It is not known at this time what caused the helicopter’s downing.
Oleksiy Kuleba, Kyiv’s regional governor, said that 29 people were also injured in the crash. This included 15 children.
Initial reports stated that 18 people had been killed, but the number has since been reduced to 14.
The scene was captured by the Ukrainian police and showed flames in a large area around the place where the plane came down.
Kuleba said: “At that time, children and staff from the institution were in kindergarten.
“All are now evacuated.”
Firefighters, police, and ambulance services are on the scene.
Monastyrskyi was the head of the Ukrainian emergency services and police. He is the highest ranking Ukrainian official to die since the beginning of the conflict with Russia nearly 11 months ago.
Anton Gerashchenko was the advisor to the Minister for Internal Affairs of Ukraine. He said that “Minister of Internal Affairs DenysMonastyrskyi and his 1st deputy Yevhen Yenin, as well as Yurii Lubkovych, Ministry’s State Secretary, died today in Kyiv.”
“My friends, my colleagues. This is a terrible loss. Our deepest sympathy to their families.
Before taking part in the session of the World Economic Forum in Davos (Switzerland), Olena Zelenska, first lady, was seen rubbing her eyes.
She stated, “Another very sad and tragic day today – new loss.”
James Cleverly, UK foreign secretary, tweeted: “Denys is a true friend to the UK. We will support Ukraine in any way that we can.
Ylva Johansson, the EU’s home affairs Commissioner, described Mr Monastyrsky a “hero”.
“The news of Denys Monastyrsky’s death, Yevhen Yenin’s and Yurii Lubkovich’s deaths has shocked me greatly. My condolences go out to all the families of the victims. Denys is a true Ukrainian hero, having led with courage and stoicism over the past year,” she tweeted.
“He was my friend. It was an honor to have worked with him over the past year. This loss will be felt deeply by the EUHomeAffairs network and all Interior Affairs Ministries in all 27 capitals. In Denys’ honor, we will continue to help Ukrainians and Ukraine. Slava Ukraini”