OAN’s Elizabeth Volberding
12:38 PM – Tuesday, November 7, 2023
A top aide to Ukraine’s military command was killed on his birthday when one of his presents exploded inside his Kyiv home, which also left his 13-year-old son “seriously injured.”
On Monday, Major Hennadiy Chastyakov, 39, was killed by a fatal explosion that “went off in one of his birthday gifts,” according to a Telegram post made by Veleriy Zaluzhnyy, the commander in chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces.
The top Ukrainian aide died when an “unknown explosive device” blew up inside his birthday present.
The “birthday bomb” explosion also left Chastyakov’s 13-year-old son severely injured.
Images captured from inside Chastyakov’s home displayed multiple grenade-shaped items laying alongside a box for a bottle of alcohol and a box from a Ukrainian clothing company.
Zaluzhnyy’s Telegram post stated that the explosion was generated by a birthday gift box containing six grenades that was “given to him by his colleagues,” which Chastyakov was showing off to his friends and family when the incident occurred.
An additional Telegram post from Ukraine’s Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko shared more information about the tragic incident.
“The son first took the munition in his hand and began to twist the ring,” Klymenko wrote. “Then the serviceman took the grenade from the child and pulled the ring, causing a tragic explosion.”
According to Ukrainian police, the explosion, which took place in the family flat at Chaiky in the western outskirts of Kyiv, had been the “result of careless handling of ammunition.”
Police also later found five more unexploded grenades inside the box, which have been turned in to officials for investigation.
Eventually, police were able to examine which of Chastyakov’s colleagues sent him the deadly birthday gift by visiting suspects’ homes and later discovered two more grenades.
According to Klymenko, the grenades were sent from a fellow Ukrainian army member.
Following the tragic occurrence, Zaluzhnyy, Chastyakov’s boss, portrayed the military aide as a “reliable shoulder for me,” describing that his death brings “unspeakable pain and heavy loss for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and for me personally.”
Zaluzhnyy additionally said that since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Chastyakov had been “fully devoting his life to the armed forces of Ukraine and the fight against Russian aggression.”
Chastyakov leaves behind his wife and four children.
It remains unknown if anyone other than Chastyakov’s 13-year-old son was wounded in the explosion.
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