Sixteen people including Ukraine’s interior minister and other senior officials were killed when a helicopter crashed outside Kyiv in the town of Brovary, the national police chief said.
According to international media reports, the governor of the Kyiv region said earlier on Wednesday that a helicopter crashed near a nursery and a residential building. Two children were among the dead and 10 were in hospital, officials said.
Ukraine’s national police chief, Ihor Klymenko, said in a statement that the helicopter was carrying Ukraine’s minister of internal affairs, Denys Monastyrskiy, as well as eight others. Klymenko said his deputy minister, Yevhen Yenin, and the state secretary, Yuriy Lubkovych, also died in the crash.
Klymenko said of 16 people were confirmed dead, including the two children. A further 22 victims are being treated in hospital.
Monastyrsky, a 42-year-old father of two, was appointed interior minister in 2021.
Officials said that at the time of the crash children and employees were in the kindergarten. Medics and police were working at the scene.
The scene of the crash in the town of Brovary is located some 20 kilometres (12 miles) northeast of Kyiv.
Russian and Ukrainian forces fought for control of Brovary in the early stages of Moscow’s invasion until Russia’s troops withdrew in early April.
Russian President Vladimir Putin sent troops to pro-Western Ukraine on February 24 last year.
The crash came on the heels of a tragedy that saw 45 people including six children die when a Russian missile struck a residential building in the eastern city of Dnipro at the weekend.