On January 18, 2023, Ukrainian Internal Affairs Minister Denys Monastyrsky was aboard a helicopter flying near Kyiv. Along with him was his top deputy, Yevhen Yenin, as well as another top government official, Yurii Lubkovych. They were en route to a "hot spot" where “hostilities are taking place” amid the Russian invasion of the country.

Details are still emerging about what exactly happened. But shortly after 8:00 in the morning local time, the helicopter was flying near a kindergarten and residential building. And it was then that things took a catastrophic turn.

Monastyrsky, Yenin, Lubkovych among the dead

Denys Monastyrsky and several others have died after the helicopter he was traveling in crashed, reports the BBC. The Daily Beast notes that the exact number of fatalities have fluctuated. But it seems to be at a minimum of 14, with dozens of others injured. Yevhen Yenin and Yurii Lubkovych have also been counted among the deceased.

Multiple children and several parents were also reportedly killed. Witnesses say that weather conditions were foggy. Others would describe seeing flames and the helicopter spinning around in circles before colliding with the ground.

"Unspeakable pain," was what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called his feelings after learning of the deadly crash.

Which he also called an "awful tragedy." Zelensky has ordered an intensive investigation into what caused the wreck. A wide array of possibilities have been listed. Some have theorized that the helicopter could have been shot down or been the subject of sabotage. But less malicious causes have not been ruled out, such as equipment malfunction or pilot error.

Monastyrsky had been the internal affairs minister since 2021. Prior to that, he was a member of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine's Parliament, elected on the national list. He took over the Internal Affairs Ministry after the resignation of Arsen Avakov. It was widely believed that Avakov was clashing Zelensky's efforts to combat corruption in the Ukrainian government.

Denys Monastyrsky was a native of Khmelnytskyi in western Ukraine. He would work as an attorney, an educator and as a staffer for Deputy Internal Affairs Minister Anton Herashchenko. Monastyrsky was also a key figure in Zelensky's 2019 Presidential campaign.

Ilhor Klymenko has been named as Monastyrsky's successor on an interim basis. Since 2019, Klymenko has been at the helm of the National Police of Ukraine.

Yenin and Lubkovych and both been serving in their roles since 2021

Yevhen Yenin served in several prominent roles in the Ukrainian government. Before becoming deputy internal affairs minister, he'd been deputy foreign minister and a deputy prosecutor general.

Yenin was a native of what is now Dnipro.

He would go on to become an operative in Ukraine's Secret Service and in its Foreign Intelligence Service.

Yurii Lubkovych hailed from Ternopil. He would be educated in the Netherlands at Erasmus University Rotterdam. Followed by further studies at Western Ukrainian National University. During his career, he held a number of positions working with the Ukrainian Cabinet and the Verkhovna Rada.