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Air disaster in Brovary: high-ranking officials of State Emergency Service face suspicion

Air disaster in Brovary: high-ranking officials of State Emergency Service face suspicion High-ranking officials of State Emergency Service face suspicion (Photo: Vitalii Nosach, RBC-Ukraine)

According to a press release from the State Bureau of Investigations, in a shocking development surrounding the air crash that claimed the lives of the leadership of Ukraine's Ministry of Internal Affairs, five officials from the State Emergency Service of Ukraine have been officially charged with suspicion. The catastrophic incident occurred on January 18th, 2023, in Brovary.

The individuals charged include the following:

  1. The Chief of the Aviation and Aviation Search and Rescue Department of the State Emergency Service of Ukraine.
  2. The Acting Commander of the unit.
  3. The Deputy Commander in charge of flight training.
  4. The Commander of the aviation squadron.
  5. The Chief of Flight Safety Service of the Special Aviation Unit of the Civil Protection Operational Rescue Service of the State Emergency Service from Nizhyn, Chernihiv region.

Investigators have determined that these officials allegedly violated safety regulations pertaining to the operation and movement of aerial transport, resulting in the tragic loss of lives.

Furthermore, the investigation by the State Bureau of Investigations meticulously reconstructed the events of the accident, including the decryption of the aircraft's flight data recorders.

It has been established that a planned visit by the Ministry of Internal Affairs to the Kharkiv and Dnipropetrovsk regions was scheduled for January. Despite warnings and requirements, the State Emergency Service officials provided a helicopter that was on standby for responding to potential emergencies in Kyiv and the surrounding areas. However, the aircraft did not possess the necessary permissions for different types of flights.

During the flight, the crew commander was not informed about worsening weather conditions along the entire route, including Brovary. The crew itself lacked the required certifications for flights under challenging weather conditions. Yet, the officials proceeded with the flight rather than canceling or rescheduling it for more favorable conditions.

Reconstruction of the tragic maneuver of the helicopter

Air disaster in Brovary: high-ranking officials of State Emergency Service face suspicion

The tragic course of events led the helicopter to descend to an alarmingly low altitude, even lower than the height of buildings along the route. The crew attempted to maneuver around a multi-story building but abruptly ascended, losing spatial orientation. In the final moments of the maneuver, due to lack of necessary skills, the aircraft collided with the ground. The helicopter's impact resulted in severe damage to a daycare center, nearby buildings, and parked vehicles.

Suspicions for high-ranking officials

As the investigation unfolds, the Chief of Flight Safety Service faces suspicion under Article 367, Part 2, of the Ukrainian Criminal Code (negligence in service). The other officials have been charged with violating flight safety regulations, leading to loss of life and significant material damage, as stipulated by Article 276, Part 3, of the Ukrainian Criminal Code.

These charges carry a penalty of imprisonment of up to 10 years. The question of precautionary measures is currently under consideration.

Air disaster in Brovary

The Brovary air crash claimed the lives of not only the Ministry of Internal Affairs leadership, including Minister Denys Monastyrsky, his Deputy Yevhen Yenin, and State Secretary Yuriy Lubkovych along with their aides but also five residents of Brovary who were near the scene of the accident. The incident has sent shockwaves through Ukraine and prompted intense scrutiny of safety protocols in aviation operations.