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Top Ukrainian military aide killed when one of his birthday presents explodes

A top aide to Ukraine’s military commander was killed on his birthday Monday and his 13-year-old son was seriously injured when one of his presents exploded inside his Kyiv home.

Maj. Hennadiy Chastyokov, 39, died in the “tragic accident” after returning to his home with several birthday presents he received from friends — not realizing live grenades were included amongst the gifts.

Chastyokov began to show off his gifts to his family, when his teenage son began to examine the weapon, according to a Telegram post from Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko.

“The son first took the munition in his hand and began to twist the ring,” he wrote. “Then the serviceman took the grenade from the child and pulled the ring, causing a tragic explosion.”

Police also said the explosion was the “result of careless handling of ammunition,” and found five more live grenades at his home, Klymenko said.

The cops were then able to figure out which of Chastyakov’s fellow soldiers sent him the gift, visited the suspect’s home and retrieved two more grenades.

Photos from the scene show several grenade-shaped objects lying alongside what appears to be a bottle of alcohol as well as a package from a Ukrainian clothing brand.

Some reports suggest the grenade was hidden amongst novelty gifts shaped like grenades, according to The Guardian.

An investigation is still underway.

In a Telegram post following Chastyokov’s death, Valeriy Zaluzhnyy — the commander in chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces — described the military aide as “a reliable shoulder for me.”

He said that since Russia invaded the country in February 2022, Chastyokov had been “fully devoting his life to the armed forces of Ukraine and the fight against Russian aggression.”

Zaluzhnyy described Chastyokov’s death as “unspeakable pain and heavy loss for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and for me personally.”

“My deepest condolences to the family,” he said.

Zaluzhnyy described Chastyokov’s death as “unspeakable pain and heavy loss for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and for me personally.”

Chastyokov leaves behind his wife and four children.


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