The three main figures in Ukraine’s interior ministry have been killed in a helicopter crash beside a nursery in an eastern suburb of the capital, Kyiv.
Interior Minister, Denys Monastyrsky, 42, died alongside his first deputy minister and state secretary.
Fourteen people died when the helicopter came down in Brovary around 08:30 local time (06:30 GMT), including one child, authorities said.
There is no indication the crash was anything other than an accident.
But the SBU state security service said it was following several possible causes for the crash, which included sabotage as well as a technical malfunction or breach of flight rules.
The State Emergency Service had previously stated that up to 18 people were killed but later revised the death toll from the crash, saying 14 had died.
Mr Monastyrsky, who was one of President Volodymyr Zelensky’s longest serving political advisers, is the highest profile Ukrainian casualty since the war began.
The deputy head of Ukraine’s presidential office, Kyrylo Tymoshenko, said the minister had been travelling to a war “hot spot” when his helicopter went down.
The head of police in the north-eastern city of Kharkiv, Volodymyr Tymoshko, said the ministerial team was on their way to meet him there and he had spoken to them only yesterday.
The minister’s death cuts to the heart of the government in Kyiv as the interior ministry had the vital task of maintaining security and running the police during the war.
President Zelenskyy has spoken of a terrible tragedy that claimed the lives of “true patriots”. —BBC