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Helicopter crash near Kyiv: Who were the top officials killed?

by Igor Kossov January 18, 2023 2:50 PM 3 min read
From left: Deputy Interior Minister Yevhen Yenin, Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, State Secretary of Interior Ministry Yuriy Lubkovych.
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The Jan. 18 helicopter crash in Brovary killed the leadership of the interior ministry, including minister Denys Monastyrsky, his first deputy, Yevhen Yenin, and the ministry’s secretary, Yuriy Lubkovych.

The three officials, along with three other people from the interior ministry and three emergency service personnel, had been en route to a “hotspot” in Ukraine where combat is ongoing, according to Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of the President's Office.

All nine were killed when the helicopter crashed next to a kindergarten and a residential building. In total, 16 people, including three children lost their lives in the incident.

Only the top three officials killed in the crash have been publicly identified by the time of publication.

Officials have yet to reveal information about the cause of the crash. Tymoshenko said that the ministry’s work would not be affected by the tragedy. The acting interior minister will be appointed before the end of the day, according to the office of Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky in April 2022. (Facebook/Denys Monastyrsky)

Denys Monastyrsky

Monastyrsky was the most senior Ukrainian official to be killed since the start of the full scale invasion. He was 42, married and had two children.

President Volodymyr Zelensky selected Monastyrsky to replace the controversial outgoing Interior Minister Arsen Avakov in July 2021. Avakov spent seven years as interior minister.

In his role as minister, Monastyrsky oversaw policing, security and emergency services in the country.

Born in the city of Khmelnytsky in western Ukraine, Monastyrsky got his law degree at the Khmelnytsky Public Administration and Law University.

In his private career he worked at several law firms, including one that represented Zelensky's entertainment company Kvartal 95. His public work included a stint as an aide to Avakov's deputy Anton Gerashchenko in 2016-2019.

Elected in 2019 on Zelensky’s Servant of the People ticket, Monastyrsky was in charge of the parliament’s law enforcement committee until he was tapped to become the interior minister. The appointment was seen as a way to strengthen Zelensky’s power in the government.

Since the start of the invasion, as the head of Ukraine’s emergency services, Monastyrsky oversaw their challenging work. He provided frequent updates and interviews on the damage caused by Russia.

Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal called his death "a great loss for the government team and the entire state." Officials in Europe also offered their condolences, with EU Council President Charles Michel calling Monastyrsky a "great friend of the EU."

Deputy Interior Minister Yevhen Yenin in September 2021. (Eugene Enin/Facebook)

Yevhen Yenin

Yenin, a career diplomat and lawyer, served as Monastyrsky’s first deputy minister from Sept. 6, 2021. He was 42, married, with two children.

Yenin was born in Dnipro and graduated from the National Academy of the Security Services of Ukraine, later graduating from the State University of Finance and International Trade.

He served in Ukraine's embassy in Moldova, focusing on the Transnistria settlement, then headed the Romania, Moldova and the Balkans unit at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Afterwards, he held a senior post in Ukraine's embassy in Italy.

Yenin became the deputy prosecutor general of Ukraine in 2016 under Yuriy Lutsenko, where he served until July 2019, when he resigned.

He was appointed the deputy foreign minister in April 2020, representing Ukraine in disputes against Russia, including over the downing of Malaysia Airlines MH17 plane in 2014, and negotiating with Iran after it shot down Ukrainian International Airlines flight 752, until he was tapped for his position in the interior ministry.

Yenin had been awarded with the Order for Courage third class and Order for Merits third class.

Yuriy Lubkovych, state secretary of Interior Ministry. (Yuriy Lubkovych/Facebook)

Yuriy Lubkovych

Lubkovych had served as a state secretary at the interior ministry since Nov. 17, 2021. He was 33. Born in Ternopil, he was educated at the Ternopil National Economic University and Erasmus University Rotterdam.

In the 10 years before his appointment, he held various civil service management positions in regional state administrations, the Secretariat of the Cabinet of Ministers and the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada.

He attended special training courses for public managers at the Secretariat of the Government of Canada and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

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