Ukraine interior minister among 18 killed in helicopter crash near Kyiv

At least 18 people, including Ukraine’s interior minister and three children, have been killed in a helicopter crash near a nursery outside the capital, Kyiv.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy Yevhen Yenin and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych were among those killed on Wednesday, according to Ihor Klymenko, chief of Ukraine’s National Police.

The Ukrainian government was avoiding commenting on the nature of the mission that required the presence of senior interior ministry officials aboard the helicopter.

The town of Brovary is located 20km (12 miles) northeast of Kyiv and was among urban hubs around the capital that Russian troops had tried to capture after invading Ukraine last year.

Regions around the capital are no longer the scene of fierce fighting after Russian forces were pushed back, but a series of Russian missile strikes have disrupted power supplies across the country, including in the Kyiv region.

Monastyrskyi, 42, responsible for the police and security inside Ukraine, would be the most senior Ukrainian official to die since the war began.

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