Ukrainian Major Hennady Chastyakov received a grenade on his birthday from colleagues in a gift packet. The army officer was killed when a grenade exploded when he returned home with his son to open the gift packet. A 13-year-old boy was seriously injured.
According to the BBC, 39-year-old Major Chastyakov was a close associate of Ukraine’s Armed Forces chief Valery Zaluzhny.
Interior Minister Eihar Klimenko said, “When the army officer’s son started turning the safety ring on the grenade, he took the grenade from the son’s hand and pulled the ring off. Due to which there was a terrible explosion.”
He described the incident as an ‘unfortunate accident’ and urged the public to wait to hear what information comes out of the formal investigation.
Prosecutors later clarified the incident, saying the army officer accidentally removed the grenade’s safety ring while pulling it from the boy’s hand.
The police described the incident as ‘result of irresponsible handling of ammunition’.
The explosion occurred in the family flat of the army officer in Chaiki, the western edge of Kyiv, the capital of Ukraine. After the incident, five more grenades were found inside the flat.
The Home Minister then said that the grenades were given to the slain Major Chasityav as a gift by one of his colleagues. Two more grenades of the same type were later found with his colleague. He holds the rank of colonel in the Ukrainian army.
Some pictures of this incident have been revealed by the BBC. Where seen, the grenades are lying on the floor of the flat along with other gifts. Major Chastyakov brought the grenades home with a bottle of whiskey in a bag.
According to a source, Ukrainian online news media “Ukrainska Pravda” said that the bottle of whiskey was inside a bag with a grenade-shaped glass, and when Major Chastyakov opened the bag, it exploded.
According to other media reports, Major Chastyakov’s colleague said, “It’s hard to surprise you,” as he handed him the gift bag with a bottle of whiskey. So I give you a bottle of very good whiskey with fresh pomegranates.”
Pro-presidential MP Marianna Bezulha said Major Chastyakov’s death was due to ignorance.
“I can’t imagine that Henadi could die like this because of carelessness on his birthday. Grenades are supplied, not to be given as gifts.”
Chief of Army Staff Jalujhani has expressed deep grief and condolence in this incident.
Some, however, suspect that this scenario may have been created to kill Jalujhani. Perhaps it was assumed that Army Chief Jalujhani himself would attend the event to celebrate his close aide’s birthday.
In an assessment of the current state of Ukraine’s war with Russia last week, the head of the armed forces, Valery Zaluzhny, said the war was now moving towards a ‘stalemate’ or ‘stationary phase’. And this situation will go in favor of Moscow. Because this situation would allow them to ‘rebuild their military power in Ukraine’.
Which Russia and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky are unwilling to accept. Zelensky said in a press conference that the war did not lead to a stalemate. Rather his forces are ‘advancing’.