Volodymyr Zelenskyy, the president of Ukraine, met with the families of those killed in a helicopter crash earlier this week in a moving gathering on Saturday.
Zelenskyy spoke with the relatives of seven victims of the crash that occurred on Wednesday in the Brovary district of the Ukrainian capital, Kyiv. Denys Monastyrskyi, the interior minister, and about a dozen other persons were killed when the helicopter transporting them collided with a kindergarten building in a residential neighborhood. One of the children on the ground was also killed.
Monastyrskyi was the most senior official to die since Russia invaded Ukraine, and he handled the nation’s police and emergency services. His demise, along with that of the other members of his ministry’s leadership and the entire helicopter crew, marked the second significant tragedy to strike Ukraine in the previous four days, following the death of numerous civilians when a Russian missile struck an apartment complex in the city of Dnipro.
Zelenskyy and his wife decorated each of the seven coffins covered in the blue and yellow flags of Ukraine at the solemn service in Kyiv. Zelenskyy then gave the family a brief speech while a tiny orchestra performed a somber adagio.
Although the crash’s cause is unknown, Zelenskyy claimed earlier that it occurred due of the nation’s ongoing war. Ruslan Stefanchuk, the head of Ukraine’s parliament, reiterated that viewpoint in a speech following the service.
If the Russian Federation had not been waging this horrific, covert war against Ukraine, none of this would have taken place, Stefanchuk claimed. “As a result, we need to keep this in mind and not forget about these folks. Because every life lost in Ukraine and by Ukrainians is a big tragedy.
The conflict between Russia and Ukraine, which began almost a year ago, is “at a standstill,” according to the U.K. defense ministry. While Ukrainian forces are likely making modest progress in the northeast, close to the town of Kreminna, Russian forces “have likely been reconstituting” in the eastern town of Soledar after capturing it earlier this week.
The U.K. ministry stated that “there is a serious potential” of local Russian advances near Bakhmut, an eastern city whose conquest would grant the Kremlin a win it has been waiting months for on the battlefield.
Three people were murdered by Russian shelling in the part of the eastern Donetsk region where fierce fights have been going on for Bakhmut, according to the deputy director of the Ukrainian presidential office on Saturday morning.
In the previous 24 hours, Russian bombardment in the east and south of Ukraine, where intense fighting is still going on, has resulted in the deaths of five people and the injuries of 13, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko in a Telegram post.
Russian strikes were thwarted by Ukrainian forces overnight in Bakhmut and other troubled eastern regions of the nation, the military reported in a Facebook update on Saturday.
Russian shelling struck a 60-year-old woman’s home in the northeastern Kharkiv region, the local governor Oleh Syniehubov reported in a Telegram post. Four other persons were injured in the province, he continued.
Gov. Oleksandr Starukh claimed in a Telegram post that one woman was also murdered in the southern Zaporizhzhia region as Russian forces overnight launched more than 160 artillery operations. According to him, 21 cities and towns were attacked, and two more citizens were hurt.
According to the Russian military ministry, soldiers practiced repelling a fictitious air strike close to Moscow. The ministry stated that S-300 mobile surface-to-air batteries were employed in the exercise, but it did not specify where it took place.
The drill comes in response to social media rumors that Pantsir S-1 anti-aircraft missiles had been installed on structures in Moscow’s city center, including the roof of the command center for the defense ministry along the river. The ministry is silent on the matter.
After two air bases located far inside Russian territory were purportedly targeted by drones from Ukraine, Russia’s air defense capabilities have been called into question.