The Brovary crash site
Sergei Supinsky / AFP
According to the Ukrainian police, the country's interior minister, Denys Monastyrsky, was killed in a helicopter crash near Kyiv.
At least 14 other people died in the incident near a kindergarten, including three children.
Also among the dead are Monastyrsky's first deputy and the ministry's undersecretary.
The cause of the crash was initially unclear.
At the time of the crash, children and employees were in the kindergarten, said regional governor Oleksiy Kuleba via the short message service Telegram.
He had initially spoken of at least 18 dead.
According to official information, 29 people were injured in addition to the fatalities, including 15 children.
The incident took place in the city of Brovary, around twelve kilometers northeast of the capital Kyiv.
Monastyrskyj was appointed Interior Minister by President Volodymyr Zelenskyj in 2021.
He was responsible for the police and internal security in this office and is the highest-ranking Ukrainian official to have died since the beginning of the war.
According to Kyiv, the delegation was heading towards the front line in the east of the country.
Zelenskyj described the helicopter crash in a telegram entry as a "terrible tragedy" and a "black morning".
“I have instructed the Ukrainian Security Service to investigate all the circumstances of what happened in cooperation with the Ukrainian National Police and other relevant bodies.
All services are working on the scene of the tragedy,” Zelenskyy wrote.
According to the Ukrainian President, the exact number of victims is unclear, but at least 15 people died.
State broadcaster Suspilne, citing police officials, reports that nine of the fatalities were on board the helicopter.
Suspilne reports that the helicopter belonged to Ukraine's state emergency services, although many details of the incident are currently unconfirmed.
According to Yuriy Ignat, spokesman for the Air Force Command of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, it was an Airbus H225 helicopter.
A commission will examine the causes.
"It won't just take a day or two, because investigating a plane crash takes time," Ignat said.
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.
Anton Gerashenko, an adviser to Ukraine's Interior Ministry, asked "all citizens who have the necessary information" to contact law enforcement agencies.
Every detail is important, Geraschenko wrote on Telegram.