Volodymyr Zelensky honours top Ukrainian officials killed in helicopter crash

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky attended the funeral of helicopter crash victims on Saturday. The memorial service commemorated seven senior officials killed in a helicopter crash. 

The war-torn nation received a fresh blow on Wednesday when the former interior minister Denys Monastyrskyi, his deputy and five other high-ranking officials were killed. 

The accident when their French-made Super Puma helicopter crashed into a nursery on the eastern outskirts of Kyiv. 

The incident is being investigated as another seven people were killed, including one child, in the crash. Officials are still investigating the cause. 

In his Telegram post, Zelensky wrote: “The indescribable sadness is covering the soul.” 

During his video address on Saturday, Zelensky talked only about the death of Monastyrskyi. He said, “My condolences to all relatives and friends. It hurts to think about it, it hurts to talk about it.” 

He added, “We are losing people every day, whom we will always remember and regret we can’t bring back.” The Ukrainian president further talked about “how many bright people are taken by wartime”. 

Kyrylo Budanov, who is the military intelligence chief, said that the death of Monastyrskyi is “a huge loss”. “If not for (Monastyrskyi), everything could have been completely different,” he told Ukrainian media. 

Budanov referred to the resistance Ukraine mounted after Russia’s invasion last year on February 24 and he called Monastyrskyi a “true hero of this country”. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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