Sunday, June 23, 2024

Top Aide to Zelenskyy’s Military Critic Killed by Grenade Concealed as Birthday Gift

'I pray to God that this was a tragic coincidence and not a targeted attack...'

(Luis CornelioHeadline USA) A top military aide to Ukrainian Gen. Valery Zaluzhny, Major Hennadii Chastiakov, met a tragic demise after a grenade disguised as a birthday gift detonated unexpectedly.

The blast claimed Chastiakov’s life and left his 13-year-old son injured, prompting the Ukrainian National Police to initiate an investigation, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday. 

According to the police, Chastiakov returned home with gifts, setting off the lethal explosion while celebrating his birthday with his family. The police found an additional cache of unexploded grenades in his apartment. 

“First, the son took the ammunition and started turning the ring. Then the serviceman took the grenade from the child and pulled out the ring, provoking a tragic explosion. The police found 5 more such unexploded grenades in the apartment. They will be sent for examination,” the Ukrainian National Police declared on Twitter. 

In a Telegram post, Zaluzhny hailed Chastiakov as a “reliable shoulder.” “The reasons and circumstances [surrounding his death] will be established during the pre-trial investigation,” he wrote. 

Reportedly, the gifts Chastiakov received included items such as bottles of liquor and glasses shaped like grenades. 

As reported by the Post, the lethal blast gained attention due to the political rivalry between Chastiakov’s superior and President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.  

In one fiery op-ed published in the Economist, Zaluzhny offered scathing critique against both Ukraine and Russia, calling for new technology. Zelenskyy, reported the Post, opposed such move. 

But Dana Yarova, a member of the Defense Ministry’s anti-corruption council, expressed hopes that the incident was not a deliberate assassination 

“I pray to God that this was a tragic coincidence and not a targeted attack,” she said according to the newspaper. Meanwhile, Zelenskyy’s office did not immediately respond to questions from the Post. 

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