NEWS

Zelenskyy orders criminal probe into Interior Minister’s death

All nine people on board the helicopter were killed: Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky and four other ministry officials, including Monastyrsky’s deputy, Yevhen Yenin, and State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yurii Lubkovych; a national police official and the three crew members. The officials were flying to Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region.

The aircraft, owned by the State Emergency Services, struck a kindergarten in the eastern Kyiv suburb of Brovary. A child on the ground was also killed, and at least 25 people were injured, including 11 children.

Monastyrsky is the most senior official killed since Russia invaded nearly 11 months ago. He was in charge of police and emergency services that dealt with the consequences of Russian strikes and demining, political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko told The Associated Press.

The helicopter was a French-manufactured Super Puma, according to a spokesperson for Ukraine’s air force, Yurii Ihnat. It was sold to Ukraine in 2019, but was not part of the equipment that France has provided since the start of the war on 24 February, according to a French official who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to be identified.

Senior officials in Ukraine routinely travel by helicopter at low altitudes and high speed during the conflict, increasing the inherent dangers associated with the flights.

2. Sweden and Estonia increase military support for Ukraine

Ukraine will receive substantial amounts of new military equipment from Sweden, Denmark and Estonia after the three Baltic Sea neighbours announced extra weapons packages on Thursday.

In a 10th package of military support, Sweden will give 50 infantry fighting vehicles, anti-tank guided missiles and also deliver its Archer artillery system.

Meanwhile Estonia is committing more funding for Ukraine which takes it to 1% of GDP. It’s the country’s biggest aid package so far for Ukraine, Prime Minister Kaja Kallas said, and includes howitzers, grenade launchers, and ammunition.

“The whole transatlantic community must do more and give military aid at greater scale and speed to ensure Ukraine’s victory,” said Kallas

“Let’s look into our stockpiles and ensure our industry produces more, faster,” she said.

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