Ukrainian authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding a helicopter crash that killed the country’s interior minister and 13 others on Wednesday.
The chopper carrying Interior Minister Denys Monastyrsky crashed outside Kyiv near a kindergarten building. However, even though Kyiv hasn’t claimed that Russia was involved in the crash, President Volodymyr Zelensky said the tragedy was a consequence of the war.
Fourteen people died, including Monastyrsky, and other ministry officials and a child, Zelensky said in his evening address to the nation.
Another 25 people were wounded, including 11 children. He added that an investigation had been opened “to clarify all the circumstances of the disaster”.
In his address at Davos, Zelensky also renewed calls for modern, Western-designed heavy tanks, which analysts say are crucial to pushing through entrenched defensive lines in eastern Ukraine. Earlier on Wednesday, NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg told the World Economic Forum in Davos that member countries are set to announce new “heavier weapons” for Ukraine.
US Secretary of Defence Lloyd Austin will convene a meeting of around 50 countries on Friday at the US-run Ramstein military base in Germany, including all 30 members of the NATO alliance. “The main message there (in Ramstein) will be more support and more advanced support, heavier weapons, and more modern weapons, because this is a fight for our values,” Stoltenberg said.
Zelensky had issued a “call for speed”, supposedly referencing to Germany, after Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that they are still weighing whether to greenlight the export of its highly regarded Leopard tanks. “The time the Free World uses to think is used by the terrorist state to kill,” Zelensky told delegates in Davos. Meanwhile, in Washington, Under Secretary of Defense for Policy Colin Kahl said the United States hasn’t yet decided in providing advanced Abrams tanks to Ukraine, though he did not completely close the door on a shift in the future.
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