On Wednesday, the tragic helicopter crash that took the lives of multiple high-ranking Ukrainian officials left a vacancy at the top of a ministry that is essential to the war effort just as Kyiv anticipates a likely Russian assault in the upcoming spring and is still suffering from constant artillery strikes on its cities.

Denis Monastryrsky, a confidante of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the interior minister responsible for Ukraine’s domestic security, was one of 14 people to perish in a helicopter crash in the town of Brovary, just outside Kyiv, on Wednesday. The Ukrainian Parliament declared that Yevhen Yenin, the first deputy minister for internal affairs, and Yurii Lubkovich, the Ministry’s state secretary, were also among those killed.

Denis Monastryrsky was a prominent figure in Ukraine’s government, having served as a confidante of President Volodymyr Zelensky and the interior minister responsible for Ukraine’s domestic security. He had developed close ties with other members of the country’s tight-knit leadership, having worked alongside Yevhen Yenin (first deputy minister for internal affairs) and Yurii Lubkovich (Ministry’s state secretary), who also perished in the tragic helicopter crash on Wednesday. As reported by the Ukrainian Institute of National Memory, Monastryrsky had a long history of working within Ukrainian government circles since 2002, taking part in numerous initiatives to strengthen national security. 

Monastryrsky was well-known for his commitment to reforming Ukraine’s law enforcement and security forces. He helped enact policies such as the overhaul of police training procedures, the introduction of public sector standards for public servants, and the adoption of transparent processes for selecting national officials. Monastryrsky was also praised for his dedication to ensuring that law enforcement remained accountable to citizens and operated with integrity. As noted by former Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, Monastryrsky helped lead Ukraine “toward greater openness and responsibility” during his time as interior minister


Aside from his efforts to reform Ukraine’s security apparatus, Monastryrsky was widely respected as a dedicated public servant with an unwavering commitment to justice and human rights in Ukraine. In particular, he oversaw the establishment of an independent Anti-Corruption Bureau, which has been credited with significantly reducing bribery and corruption cases within the country. His legacy will continue to be remembered through these accomplishments, and his close friendship with fellow government leaders lost in the crash – Yenin and Lubkovich – who were instrumental in forming a united front among leaders during tumultuous times for Ukrainians.

The Crash

Zelensky stated that every fatality related to the crash was an outcome of the Russian invasion, despite investigators still exploring whether the tragedy was due to mechanical malfunction, pilot mistake, sabotage, or something else.