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Law enforcement raids controversial ex-interior minister's home over helicopter crash that killed successor
Arsen Avakov, a controversial ex-Interior Minister who resigned in 2021 after a long, scandal-ridden tenure, told Ukrainian media that law enforcement had searched his house on Feb. 1 as part of its investigation into the helicopter crash that killed his successor.
Avakov told Ukrainain media that the State Bureau of Investigation and Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) conducted the search concerning the Jan. 18 helicopter crash near Kyiv that killed Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky and nine other people on board.
According to the Ukrainian media outlet Babel, Avakov said the investigators searched through six-year-old contracts with the French company Airbus, which manufactured the H-225 Super Puma helicopter that was used to transport the officials when the crash happened.
Avakov said that “nothing” was found as the government and parliament had approved the paperwork before it came into effect. The investigators also entered the homes of other officials who were involved in the purchase of the French helicopters, Babel reported, citing anonymous sources in law enforcement agencies.
The preliminary results of the ongoing investigation into the helicopter crash in Brovary have not been released yet. Fedir Venislavskyi, the president’s representative in parliament, said on Jan. 21 that the first results could be disclosed in “the near future.” The Air Force said such an investigation would take time due to its complexity.
The helicopter crash killed a total of 14 people, including those on the ground.
The SBU said that possible causes of the crash included a violation of flight security rules, technical malfunction of the helicopter, and intentional actions to destroy the vehicle.
The Cabinet Ministry has created a special commission to investigate the cause of the helicopter crash, and the commission has reportedly been instructed to submit a report on the investigation by Feb. 18.