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The funeral ceremony for late Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky and other ministry employees who were killed in the Jan. 18 helicopter crash near Kyiv took place in the Ukrainian House on Jan. 21.
The ceremony followed an homage at the Interior Ministry building.
Top officials, including President Volodymyr Zelensky and his wife, Olena Zelenska, attended the funeral, offering condolences to the relatives of the crash victims.
Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s military intelligence, called Monastyrsky’s death a “personal loss” and “a huge loss for the state.”
“If it weren’t for Denys Anatoliyovych, a lot of things would be different, he is truly a hero of this state,” Budanov said.
On the morning of Jan. 18, a helicopter carrying Ukraine’s Interior Ministry top officials crashed next to a kindergarten and an apartment building in Brovary, a city just east of Kyiv, claiming the lives of 14 people, including all ten people onboard.
Monastyrsky was the most senior Ukrainian official killed since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion on Feb. 24. His first deputy, Yevhen Yenin, also died in the crash.
Other ministry employees who died in the crash include:
- Yuriy Lubkovych, the ministry's state secretary
- colonel Mykhailo Pavlushko, Monastyrsky’s security chief
- Andriy Marynchenko, senior police officer
- Tetiana Shutiak, an employee of the ministry’s patronage service department
- Mykola Anatsky, an employee of the ministry’s communications department
The other three victims onboard were crew members: helicopter crew commander Oleksandr Vasylenko, pilot Kostiantyn Kovalenko, and mechanic Ivan Kasianov.
Following Monastyrsky's death, Police Chief Ihor Klymenko was appointed as acting interior minister. The permanent minister will be selected by the government and approved by the parliament.
However, according to Zelensky, the people killed in Brovary “are not those who can be easily replaced.”
The Security Service of Ukraine, or SBU, opened an investigation that is currently considering several versions of what had caused the crash, including violation of flight security rules, technical malfunction of the helicopter, and intentional actions to destroy the vehicle.
At the same time, the air force spokesperson, Yurii Ihnat, said that the crash will be investigated by the special state commission that is yet to be created, and the process would take “not a couple of days” but at least several weeks.