Birthday Grenade Kills Top Aide To Ukraine’s Military Chief

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Samuel Spencer Contributor
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A Ukrainian military officer was killed in Kyiv on Monday after someone accidentally pulled the pin to a grenade the victim had received as a birthday gift.

Major Henadiy Chastyakov — a close aide to Gen. Valerii Zaluzhnyi, the commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian army — died Monday in the explosion, which also injured his 13-year-old son, according to CBS News. The incident was not a targeted attack but was apparently brought about by Chastyakov’s poor judgment, Ukraine’s interior minister said on Telegram, per the outlet.

Initial reports characterized the incident as a possible assassination, the Guardian noted.

While Chastyakov was showing the grenades to his family, his son reached into the box, grabbed a grenade and began twisting its pin, according to CBS News. The major “then took the grenade from the child and pulled the ring, leading to a tragic explosion,” the Telegram statement explained. (RELATED: ‘We’re Not Winning’: Zelenskyy Aide Reportedly Calls President ‘Delusional’)

“According to the information we have now, we can say that it was an accident, negligent ammunition handling,” Mariana Reva, a spokesperson for Ukraine’s interior ministry said on national TV, per CNN.

Police are investigating the incident, and Chastyakov’s son is in the hospital receiving medical treatment, CBS reported.