Russia, Ukraine: Zelensky criticizes Germany's reluctance to send tanks, vows to take back Crimea

Russia, Ukraine: Zelensky criticizes Germany's reluctance to send tanks, vows to take back Crimea



"There are no wartime accidents, "Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in his first statement after a helicopter crash in a Kyiv suburb.


Ukraine did not accuse the Russian side of responsibility for the incident, but Zelensky told the World Economic Forum in Davos that the tragedy was one of the consequences of the war.


A helicopter crash killed three key figures of the Ukrainian interior ministry, namely, 42-year-old Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky, his first assistant, Yevhen Yenin, and the official of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Yuri Lobkovich.


Authorities said 14 people, including a child, died when the helicopter crashed near a kindergarten in the suburb of Brovary, east of the capital Kyiv.


The probe is looking at multiple "hypotheses," as Zelensky said in a video speech to the Davos World Economic Forum on Thursday. "The fight has been incident-free. The conflict has caused all these effects ".


What is the reason for the German reluctance to supply Kyiv with Leopard tanks?


Zelensky said his country was seeking to regain Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014, and called on his Western partners to provide him with more weapons.


He criticized Germany's reluctance to supply Ukraine with its modern Leopard tanks, amid reports that Berlin will supply Kyiv with these tanks only if Washington supplies it with its Abrams tanks.


And the" leopard " of modern heavy tanks of Western design that Kyiv demands from its allies, experts say, will be decisive in the upcoming battles in eastern Ukraine.


The UK has promised to provide 14 heavy tanks of the "Challenger 2" type to Ukraine, and Poland has also announced that it is ready to send 14 German-made "Leopard 2" tanks.


Also, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced Wednesday that NATO member states will hand Kyiv "heavier and newer"weapons.


Ukrainian police chief Ihor Klimenko wrote on Facebook that the helicopter that crashed belonged to the state emergency service of the Ministry of internal affairs, and other officials indicated that the helicopter was a French Super Puma.


The State Emergency Service had earlier reported that up to 18 people had died, but later revised the death toll in the accident, saying that the accident led to the death of 14 people.


There are no other indications so far other than that the helicopter crash was an accident, although some witnesses blamed the Russian war on the country.


However, the Ukrainian state security service, "SBU", said that it was following several possible causes of the helicopter crash, including sabotage, a technical malfunction, or a violation of flight rules.


There are no other indications so far other than that the helicopter crash was an accident, although some witnesses blamed the Russian war on the country.


Why is Ukraine pressing to get this German tank?


However, the Ukrainian state security service, "SBU", said that it was following several possible causes of the helicopter crash, including sabotage, a technical malfunction, or a violation of flight rules.


The helicopter crash and the death of Interior Minister Denis Monastyrsky and two leaders of his team are a blow to the Kyiv government since the Ministry of internal affairs carries out the vital task of maintaining security and police management during the war.


"The purpose of this trip (was to go) to one of the hot spots of our country where battles are taking place," the deputy head of the Ukrainian presidential office, Kirill Tymoshenko, told national television.


After Monastyrsky's death, Ihor Klimenko, head of the Ukrainian national police, was named interim Interior Minister.


Monastyrsky was a former lawyer who took up his post as the head of the Ministry of internal affairs in July 2021. He became a deputy of the Verkhovna Rada in 2019 in the bloc of the party of President Volodymyr Zelensky.


He is also one of the political advisers to Ukrainian President Zelensky, and the highest-ranking Ukrainian official to be killed in the war since the beginning of the Russian invasion in February last year.


And the main officials used to move across Ukraine on a helicopter flying at the level of trees, which entailed risks.


"It was very foggy and there was no electricity, and when there is no electricity there are no lights shining from the buildings, "Volodymyr Yermylenko, a local resident, told the BBC.


Witnesses said that the pilot tried to avoid high-rise buildings before the accident, and instead landed near the kindergarten.


The president of the European Council, Charles Michel, on Wednesday expressed his condolences to the Ukrainian people after the murder of Monastyrsky, calling him a "great friend of the European Union".


Also expressing "sadness at the terrible death" of Monastyrsky was French President Emmanuel Macron. Ukrainian officials said that those on board the helicopters were six Ministry officials and three crew members.


Tymoshenko said the work of the interior ministry would not be affected by the loss of its leaders, but colleagues in the government were visibly shocked while speaking on national television.


Mariya Mezentseva, a friend of the late minister, said it was a tragedy for everyone since the ministry plays an important role in Ukraine's response to the invasion.


The BBC quoted her as saying, "He was answering all day, every day to his coworkers, friends, and family." He has been very close to President Zelensky since the first day of his presidential campaign," he said.


A local woman told the BBC that she saw a huge flash while the helicopter was flying over her house, adding that the pilot clearly tried to avoid her 10-story building and chose to fall closer to the smaller one.


Anton Herashchenko, an adviser to the Ministry of internal affairs, said that the three men were friends and statesmen who worked to make Ukraine stronger.

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