(NationalUSNews.com) — Ukrainian military commander, Major Hennadii Chastiakov, who was an assistant to General Valery Zaluzhny, was killed on Monday, November 6th, when a birthday gift exploded while he was celebrating his birthday with relatives. His 13-year-old son was also injured.
While the incident is still being investigated, the general belief is that this was a tragic accident and not a deliberate assassination attempt. Local police have described the explosion as a case of “careless handling of ammunition”. General Zaluzhny said on his Telegram that Chastiakov has been a “reliable shoulder” since the beginning of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.
Ihor Klymenko, the Ukrainian Minister for Internal Affairs, said that they had found the soldier who gave Major Chastiakov the dangerous gift and found two similar grenades upon searching his office. However, he urges people not to spread “unofficial information” as the investigation is still ongoing. Photographs from Chastiakov’s apartment, where the birthday celebration took place, show several grenade-shaped objects as well as other items, including a bottle of alcohol. The Ukrainian news outlet Ukrainska Pravda said that the grenade was in a gift bag that included bottles of liquor and glasses shaped like grenades.
Ukrainian officials believe the incident was an accident, and some reports say that his son was handling the grenade, and Chastiakov took it from him and pulled the pin himself. There is some dispute as to whether he pulled it deliberately or if it was an accident, however, it does seem to indicate that Chastiakov did not know it was a live grenade.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Interior, Mariana Reva, says that once the investigation is finished, it is likely that the case will be reclassified to indicate the accidental nature of the incident. Klymenko has stated that Chastiakov had fully devoted his life to the war effort since the invasion of Ukraine by Russia in February 2022. Major Gennadiy Chastyakov describes him as a close friend and offers his condolences to his family. Chastiakov’s death is mourned by his widow and four children.
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