An official investigation has found that officials of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine (SES) had committed blatant violations of flight safety and air transport operation rules, which led to the deaths of Ministry of Internal Affairs and innocent bystanders on the ground in the Kyiv region in January.

The State Bureau of Investigation (DBR) has completed its investigation into the helicopter crash in Brovary, Kyiv region that killed the Ukrainian Minister of Internal Affairs (MIA). In addition to the senior officials of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and their attendants, four women and a young child died in the crash as they were visiting a kindergarten that was damaged in the crash.

 

In August, investigators served notice of suspicion to five officials of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine who violated flight safety rules on a helicopter carrying the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and accompanying persons.

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These suspects were served a notice of suspicion [a Ukrainian legal step similar to an indictment]:

  • Head of the Aviation and Air Search and Rescue Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine;
  • Acting commander of the special aviation detachment;
  • Deputy commander for flight training;
  • Commander of the aviation squadron;
  • Head of the Flight Safety Service of the Special Aviation Detachment of the Civil Defense Operational and Rescue Service of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine from the city of Nizhyn, Chernihiv region.

“The case files are open for review by the suspects and their defense lawyers, as well as the victims and their legal representatives. After reviewing the materials, they will be submitted to the court,” the DBR said.

Foreign aviation advisors were involved in the investigation, as well as representatives of the French helicopter manufacturer.

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What happened on Jan. 18, 2023 in Brovary

The aircraft carrying the top leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs crashed on January 18, 2023, in Brovary.

At that time, the Ministry of Internal Affairs leadership was scheduled to visit Kharkiv and Dnipro regions. Despite the warnings and requirements, officials of the State Emergency Service provided a helicopter that was on duty to respond to potential emergencies in Kyiv and the region. This helicopter did not have any other type of flight authorization.

During the flight, the crew commander was not informed about the deterioration of the weather along the entire route, in particular in Brovary. The crew itself did not have the appropriate permits to fly in difficult weather conditions and the necessary certificates. However, SES officials did not cancel or postpone the flight to await more favorable conditions.

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Due to the difficult conditions, the helicopter was forced to descend to an extremely low altitude - even lower than the height of the buildings on the route.

The accident occurred when the crew commander, seeing a multi-story building, began to perform an evasive maneuver, but climbed sharply, lost spatial orientation , and at the end of the maneuver collided with the ground.

On the ground, the helicopter damaged a kindergarten, neighboring buildings, and parked cars.

Onboard were members of the Ministry of Internal Affairs leadership: Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine Denys Monastyrsky, his First Deputy Yevgeniy Yenin, State Secretary of the Ministry of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lubkovich, and their assistants. Tragically, all passengers and the rotorcraft crew lost their lives.

Five residents of the city of Brovary, who were near a kindergarten at the time of the crash, also died. In total, 14 people died in the crash, including one child. Thirty-one people were injured, including 13 children.

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