Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his wife Olena (left) at the memorial service for the victims of the crash
Photo: NACHO DOCE / REUTERS
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy attended the funeral service for Interior Minister Denys Monastyrskyy, who recently died in a helicopter crash.
The 44-year-old came to the event at the Ukrainian House in Kyiv accompanied by his wife Olena.
The coffins of the helicopter occupants who died in the crash were laid out at the ceremony.
Zelenskyj laid flowers.
He then spoke to the family and expressed his condolences.
A total of 14 people, including a small child, were killed in the accident in the Kiev suburb of Brovary on Wednesday.
The helicopter crashed next to a kindergarten.
The memorial service for the victims on the ground took place in Brovary at the same time as the commemoration ceremony in Kyiv.
The cause of the crash is still unclear.
The SBU secret service is investigating whether it was a technical failure, pilot error or sabotage.
Monastyrskyj is the highest-ranking official killed since Russia invaded Ukraine.
According to official information, he was on his way to the front when the helicopter crashed.
Also on board were a deputy minister and a state secretary, who also died.
Russia reports land gains near Zaporizhia
The Ukrainian army spoke on Saturday of repelling Russian attacks near Bakhmut and other regions in the east.
Meanwhile, the Russian military reported new territory gains in southern Ukraine.
In the Zaporizhia region, Russian troops killed 30 Ukrainians in attacks and disabled several military vehicles, Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in Moscow on Saturday.
The information could not be independently verified.
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Russian military bloggers had previously reported on an offensive in the Orikhiv and Hulyaipolye areas.
The first lines of defense were overrun.
According to the blog "Rybar", which is said to be close to the Russian Ministry of Defense, several towns were also taken.
The Ministry has not yet officially confirmed this.
In the morning, the Ukrainian general staff only spoke of shelling in the region, but gave no information about an advance of Russian troops.
The Zaporizhia region is considered strategically important.
From a Ukrainian point of view, a Russian advance there would be dangerous;
the troops stationed in the east to defend the Donbass could be in danger of being encircled.
On the Russian side there are fears that the Ukrainians could drive a wedge between the Russian troops with an advance towards the sea.