Ukraine's Zelensky honors those killed in helicopter crash
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky held an emotional meeting Saturday with the families of those who died in a helicopter crash earlier this week.
Zelensky spoke with family members of seven of those killed in Wednesday's crash in the Brovary area of Kiev, the capital city. The helicopter carrying Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi and other top officials slammed into a kindergarten building in the residential suburb, killing him and about a dozen other people, including a child on the ground.
Monastyrskyi, who oversaw the country's police and emergency services, was the most senior official killed since Russia invaded Ukraine. His death, along with the rest of his ministry's leadership and the entire helicopter crew, was the second major calamity in four days to befall Ukraine, after a Russian missile struck an apartment building in the southeastern city of Dnipro, killing dozens of civilians.
At the somber service in Kiev, Zelensky and his wife laid flowers on each of the seven coffins draped in the blue and yellow flags of Ukraine. Zelensky then spoke briefly with the families, as a small orchestra played a mournful adagio.
The cause of the crash isn't known, but Zelensky said earlier that it happened because the country is at war. That view was repeated by Ruslan Stefanchuk, chairman of Ukraine's parliament, speaking after the service.
"All this would not have happened if not for this terrible and undeclared war which the Russian Federation is waging against Ukraine," Stefanchuk said. "Therefore, we must remember this and not forget these people. Because for Ukraine and Ukrainians, every lost life is a great tragedy."
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