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Ukraine interior minister among 16 killed in helicopter crash

The three main figures in Ukraine’s interior ministry have been killed in a helicopter crash beside a nursery in an eastern suburb of the capital Kyiv.

Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky, 42, died alongside his first deputy minister and state secretary.

Sixteen people died when the helicopter came down in Brovary, including three children, according to updated details from the Ukrainian presidency.

Mr Monastyrsky is the highest-profile Ukrainian casualty since the war began.

The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the minister had been en route to a war “hot spot” when his helicopter went down.

His death cuts to the heart of the government in Kyiv as the interior ministry has the vital task of maintaining security and running the police during the war.

President Volodymyr Zelensky has spoken of a terrible tragedy that claimed the lives of “true patriots”.

There is no indication the crash was anything other than an accident, although witnesses said Russia’s war was to blame for the disaster.

“It was very foggy and there was no electricity, and when there’s no electricity there are no lights on the buildings,” local resident Volodymyr Yermelenko told the BBC.

Key officials are flown by helicopter across Ukraine at tree level, but that comes with risks.

Writing by Fany Olumoye, editing by Daniel Adejo