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Aide to Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief killed in explosion during birthday celebration (updated)

Major Hennadii Chastiakov died on 6 November, his birthday, by the detonation of an explosive device, reportedly a grenade.
Hennadii Chastiakov. Credit: RBC Ukraine
Aide to Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief killed in explosion during birthday celebration (updated)

On 6 November, General Valeriy Zaluzhnyi, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian armed forces, reported the tragic death of his assistant, Major Hennadii Chastiakov, on his birthday.

In a statement on Telegram, Zaluzhnyi said Chastiakov died “under tragic circumstances at home in a family circle” when an unknown explosive device detonated in one of his birthday gifts.

“Indescribable pain and a heavy loss for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and for me personally,” Zaluzhnyi wrote. “Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Hennadii has been a reliable shoulder for me, devoting his life to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the fight against Russian aggression.”

Citing Chastiakov’s wife, the explosive device that detonated in her husband’s hands was in a gift bag he had brought home, a source close to the investigation told the Ukrainska Pravda media outlet.

Citing the wife’s account, the source said Chastiakov brought home a gift bag containing a bottle of alcohol and souvenir grenade-shaped shot glasses. The explosion occurred when he opened the package.

Authorities are investigating the exact circumstances of the incident. No further details were provided.

Update. Later, on 6 November, Ihor Klymenko, Ukraine’s Minister of Internal Affairs, made a statement on his Telegram channel in response to the “information from sources.”

Klymenko said that according to the preliminary investigation, Major Hennadii Chastiakov pulled the ring of a grenade presented to him, which caused the explosion.

“These were grenades of a new Western type,” Klymenko added.

According to Klymenko, Major opened a box of grenades, one of which his son took. “Then the serviceman took the grenade from the child and pulled out the ring, provoking a tragic explosion,” Klymenko wrote.

The police found five more such unexploded grenades in the apartment.

“The police found a serviceman colleague who gave the fatal gift. His office was inspected, and two more similar grenades were seized. Priority investigative actions are underway,” Klymenko clarified.

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