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Helicopter crash killed Interior Ministry officials: State Investigation Bureau completes investigation

27 November, 2023 Monday

On Monday, November 27, the State Bureau of Investigation completed a pre-trial investigation into the January 18 helicopter crash in Brovary that killed 14 people, including the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine

This was reported by the Prosecutor General's Office and the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI).

According to the investigation, five officials of Ukraine's State Emergency Service, who were notified of suspicion in August, violated flight safety rules for a helicopter carrying the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Notice of suspicion were served to:

  • Head of the Aviation and Air Search and Rescue Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine;
  • The acting commander of a special aviation detachment;
  • Deputy commander for flight training;
  • Commander of an 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 investigation found that the officials had committed blatant violations of air traffic safety and operation rules, which led to the deaths of people. SBI investigators reconstructed the day of the crash minute by minute, including decoding the black boxes.

It was established that in January 2023, the leadership of the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine was scheduled to visit the Kharkiv and Dnipro regions. The State Emergency Service officials engaged a helicopter that was on duty to respond to potential emergencies to transport the delegation. The aircraft had no permits for other types of flights.

The crew commander started the flight without meteorological data along the entire route of the planned movement, and the crew did not have the appropriate permits for flights in difficult weather conditions and the necessary certificates. None of the officials responsible for flight safety canceled or postponed the flight until favorable weather conditions had been established.

Due to the severe weather conditions, the helicopter was flying at an extremely low altitude. The crew commander saw an obstacle and, while performing a maneuver, lost his orientation and collided with the ground.

Now the suspects, their attorneys, victims and their representatives have the opportunity to study the case file, which will be submitted to the court.

Note: According to Art. 62 of the Constitution of Ukraine, a person is presumed innocent of committing a crime and shall not be subjected to criminal punishment until his or her guilt is proved by law and established by a court verdict of guilty.

What is known about the helicopter crash in Brovary

On January 18, 2023, a helicopter crashed near a kindergarten in Brovary. The crash killed Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyi and his deputies. After the tragedy, 14 people were identified.

In addition to the Interior Ministry officials and their attendants, four women and a young child who had just arrived at a kindergarten were killed in the crash. 31 people, including 13 children, sustained injuries of varying severity.

At the time, a number of countries expressed condolences to the Ukrainian people over the helicopter tragedy in Brovary.

On January 20, the government set up a commission to investigate the Brovary plane crash. Ukrainian aviator Hennadiy Khazan expressed his belief that the first results of the investigation into the helicopter crash in Brovary should be expected in a year.

On February 6, it was reported that high-ranking officials were banned from traveling by helicopter until the investigation into the causes of the Brovary plane crash is completed.

In March, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said that the "Black Box" found at the site of the helicopter crash in Brovary had been decrypted in France, and the decrypted materials had already been handed over to the investigation.

On July 31, Prosecutor General Andriy Kostin said that the conclusions of the pre-trial investigation into the helicopter crash that killed the Interior Ministry leadership would be announced in the near future. The version of sabotage has not been confirmed.  

In August, five officials of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine were notified of suspicion of inadequate flight safety of the Mi-8 helicopter that crashed in Brovary on January 18.

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