Even by the savage invasion by Russia’s standards, Ukraine has had a difficult week.
Following a deadly missile attack in Dnipro that claimed 45 lives, a helicopter crash close to Kiev claimed 14 lives.
Three top officials were killed in the collision, including Denys Monastyrskyy, the interior minister of Ukraine, who was heading for the front lines.
In a time of conflict where they have attempted to be as conspicuous as possible, he was traveling a route that ministers usually take.
Are these flights, in which ministers fly low to the ground to evade detection, therefore, worth the danger?
According to Volodymyr Fesenko, a political specialist with the Ukrainian Center for Political Studies, “there are risks, but it’s necessary to inspire our warriors, feel the situation on the front line, and make judgments first-hand.”
Mr. Fesenko thinks Denys Monastyrsky faced more dangers than other ministers because the Interior Ministry is in charge of the National Guard, emergency services, and police force.
“Everything cannot be evaluated and predicted in advance. There is a risk for people who travel by helicopter, especially during times of war “He claims.
The reason for the crash at Brovary is still a mystery.
Senior officials frequently use helicopters to travel throughout the largest nation in Europe.
Former MP and interior minister’s advisor Anton Herashchenko notes that “officials can do more when they work more quickly.” He formerly employed Monastyrskyy as a consultant and assistant.
“You wouldn’t take a ship to get to the US, would you?” Says Herashchenko.
When we traveled last summer from Kyiv to the city of Zaporizhzia with Monastyrskyy’s Interior Ministry, we had our own helicopter travel experience.
At times, it did seem as though we were on a ship on stormy seas, but instead of the sea, there was Ukraine’s vast, verdant interior. The helicopter would occasionally jump over power pylons, giving the impression that it was in free fall.
We moved through the forest at tree level the entire time. There were times when it appeared as though we would scrape someone’s roof.
“They have some level of protection since their life is crucial for the defense of their country,” says Mr. Herashchenko.
“However, nobody is safe from a missile like the one that struck the Dnipro apartment building.”
Denys Monastyrskyy inspected the troops participating in preparations for a nuclear release at the other end of our voyage. Russian authorities have long had authority over the adjacent nuclear power facility in the city of Enerhodar.
Before returning to Kyiv, he answered journalists’ queries. a round trip of 700 miles.
Since Russia’s full-scale invasion, I have seen Mr. Monastyrskyy appear in public on multiple occasions. I recall that on February 28, his convoy abruptly stopped in Independence Square in Kiev.
He held a last-minute press conference despite their being fears that Russia would enter the city at any point.
He informed us that “police officers, border guards, and emergency personnel are doing everything they can to bring victory closer and faster.”
Recently, I witnessed Mr. Monastyrskyy arrive at the missile strike site in Zaporizhizhia in September. He still arrived despite the fact that 32 people had been slain and there were concerns of another assault.
It’s dangerous in Ukraine right now for everyone, including ministers, as one official reminded us.
President Zelensky of Ukraine has likewise accepted the dangers of leading during a war.
His presence in the newly liberated city of Kherson on November 14 was one of his most memorable occasions. The Russians were only a few days away from leaving and were located just across the Dnipro River.
The president of Ukraine traveled to the eastern city of Bakhmut to address troops before his historic trip to Washington. Russian forces were at the time around a mile away. There was some of the fiercest combat going on.
These excursions stand in stark contrast to the more circumspect approach used by Russian President Vladimir Putin, who avoids going to the front lines. Instead, he dispatches his deputies.
The day after Russia invaded, the leader of Ukraine told his senior team in a video message, “We are still here.” He apparently declined the US’s offer to evacuate him.
It has since established the tone.