The Ukrainian interior minister and his deputy have died in a helicopter crash near Kyiv. Selenskyj now instructed the secret service to investigate. Chancellor Scholz is ready to deliver Leopard tanks – on one condition. All news about the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.
Thursday, January 19, 2023, 6:44 a.m.: After the death of Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj and 13 other people in a helicopter crash, the background is still unclear. President Volodymyr Zelenskyj said in a video speech on Wednesday evening that he had commissioned the secret service to investigate. He promised clarification. Monastyrskyj and Deputy Interior Minister Yehwhenij Jenin, who was also killed, are not politicians who “can easily be replaced”. “It’s really a great loss for the state.”
According to the latest information, a child is among the dead in the crash, which occurred on Wednesday morning in a residential area near a kindergarten near the capital Kyiv. Up to 18 dead, including four children, had previously been mentioned. The Ukrainian side then corrected their information downwards without further explanation.
The Airbus H225 helicopter used is not considered particularly reliable. Against the background of the Russian war of aggression, against which Ukraine has been defending itself for almost eleven months, shooting down or sabotage was not ruled out.
The Ukrainian presidential office said that the interior ministry’s leadership was on its way to one of the front sections. The duties of Interior Minister were temporarily assigned to Police Chief Ihor Klymenko.
8:27 p.m .: At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Chancellor Olaf Scholz did not comment on the demands for German main battle tank deliveries. Now the SPD politician is said to be ready to send these tanks to the Ukraine after all. But only under one condition, according to a report in the “Süddeutsche Zeitung”.
The newspaper has information that Scholz spoke to Joe Biden on the phone today. He had told the US President that he could only meet the demands for main battle tank deliveries if the USA in turn delivered “Abrams” type main battle tanks.
Scholz has always emphasized that Germany will not go it alone when it comes to military support for Ukraine. Biden apparently did not commit himself to the conversation. The United States is therefore demanding that the Chancellery not only allow other countries to supply Leopard 2 main battle tanks, but also supply them itself. A meeting of the Ukraine contact group is taking place in Ramstein this Friday at the invitation of the USA.
The Chancellery did not want to comment on the reports in the evening. In the debate about arms deliveries since the beginning of the war almost a year ago, Scholz has always emphasized that Germany will not go it alone, but will always coordinate important steps closely with its partners – especially with the USA and France.
5.43 p.m .: The head of the Russian private army Wagner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, has accused employees from the environment of Kremlin boss Vladimir Putin in the presidential administration of treason. They are pretending to be on Putin’s course, but in reality they are disrupting the course of the war and waiting for a quick end to serve up to the US if Russia is defeated, Prigozhin claimed, according to a statement released on Wednesday. The businessman’s troops are fighting alongside the Russian army in Ukraine. At the same time, he said that Moscow would soon comply with its demands for the YouTube video platform to be blocked.
“Youtube is an information plague of our time,” said Prigozhin. So far, the service in Russia – unlike Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – has not been blocked “because a large number of people work in the presidential administration who think only of one thing – that Russia may lose the war as soon as possible”. These people are the “traitors of their people and their country” and “Wagner’s sledgehammer” is waiting for them in the future, said Prigozhin.
The statement is an allusion to a video published by Wagner, which is supposed to show the killing of a renegade mercenary from his own ranks. The Wagner fighter first voluntarily went into Ukrainian captivity, but then came back to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange and, according to the video, was killed with a sledgehammer. The clip sparked international outrage. Prigozhin is wanted in the US with a reward for his capture because he is said to have interfered in the US presidential election.
Prigozhin demanded that anyone who continued to use the service after YouTube was blocked should be punished. Blocking YouTube in Russia, following the example of other blocked social networks on the Internet, was discussed at the beginning of the war. However, the plans came to nothing. For many Russians, who lament manipulation by one-sided propaganda on state television, YouTube is one of the last sources of unimpeded access to a wide variety of information. Prigozhin claimed that only “fake news” was being spread there.
3:26 p.m .: The European Parliament has asked Chancellor Olaf Scholz to allow deliveries of Leopard main battle tanks to Ukraine. On Wednesday in Strasbourg, MEPs approved a corresponding motion by the Greens with a large majority. Literally it said that the European Parliament called on Scholz to “initiate a European consortium of relevant European countries to deliver Leopard 2 main battle tanks to Ukraine without further delay”. The text was proposed by the German Green Party politician Reinhard Bütikofer.
The fact that a head of government of an EU country is asked to do something by name in a report by the European Parliament is considered unusual – especially since the request was tabled by a member of the Greens, which is part of the federal government. The decision is a legally non-binding report.
2:18 p.m .: Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (both SPD) were deeply shocked after the helicopter crash near Kyiv and the death of the Ukrainian Interior Minister. “The helicopter crash in
2:15 p.m .: According to the authorities, the Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj died in a helicopter crash near the capital Kyiv (see below). At least 17 people died in the crash in the small town of Brovary, civil defense said on Wednesday afternoon. Deputy Interior Minister Jehwhenij Jenin and a state secretary are also among the dead.
Kyrylo Tymoshenko, deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, said the government officials on board the helicopter were headed for one of the “hot spots” in Ukraine. The helicopter crashed in a residential area near a kindergarten. According to the Interior Ministry, four children also died. 25 people were injured, including 11 children, it was said last. The cause of the crash was initially unclear. The Ukrainian secret service SBU considers three versions. This is a violation of the flight regulations, technical problems or a targeted destruction of the helicopter.
According to Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat, it was an Airbus H225 helicopter. A commission will examine the causes. “It won’t just take a day or two, because investigating a flight disaster takes a certain amount of time,” said Ihnat. The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) imposed a temporary flight ban on the H225 in 2016 due to safety concerns. The predecessor model AS332 was involved in several flight accidents.
9:28 a.m .: Ukrainian Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyj (42) died in a helicopter crash near Kyiv.
The helicopter crashed near a kindergarten in the morning. Three children are said to be among the victims. The kindergarten was evacuated after the crash, it is said. 29 injured are being treated in hospital, including 15 children. A cause of the crash is not yet known.
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy wrote via the Telegram news service: “Today a terrible tragedy happened.”
10:51 a.m .: According to a media report, the US Department of Defense wants to hand over ammunition stored in Israel to Ukraine. As the New York Times reported on Wednesday, the Pentagon is currently preparing to transfer arms to the country attacked by Russia. Around half of the 300,000 artillery shells destined for Ukraine have already been shipped to Europe.
A spokesman for the Israeli military confirmed to the German Press Agency that equipment stored in Israel was handed over to the US armed forces at the request of the United States a few weeks ago.
According to the New York Times, Israel had previously expressed concerns. The country feared that the supply of stocks to Ukraine could jeopardize relations with Russia.
You can read more news on the following pages.