Assistant to Ukraine’s top general killed in grenade blast
Major Gennady Chastyakov, an aide to Ukraine’s top general, Valery Zaluzhny, has been killed in a blast at his home, the commander-in-chief has announced.
The incident occurred on Monday when Chastyakov was celebrating his birthday, Zaluzhny said in a statement posted on social media.
An “unknown explosive device” was concealed inside one of the presents, the commander-in-chief claimed.
Unverified footage circulated by local media and said to have been taken from the site of the incident, however, shows multiple hand grenades scattered among damaged presents. An empty syringe is also visible in the photo. The grenades appear to be DM51/DM51A2 frags, German standard-issue military munitions, which have been supplied by Berlin to Kiev amid the conflict with Russia.
According to the Ukrainian Interior Ministry, preliminary findings indicated that the blast was an accident caused by “careless handling” of the munitions. Apart from killing Chastyakov on the spot, the explosion also seriously wounded his 13-year-old son, who was hospitalized, an Interior Ministry spokeswoman, Maryana Reva, said while speaking live on Ukrainian TV.
Ukrainskaya Pravda newspaper reported, that the exploded present contained “alcohol bottles” and “souvenir grenade-shaped cups.”
Chastyakov's wife claimed the grenade detonated in her husband's hands. The explosive was in a gift bag that he had brought home himself, she said, according to law enforcement sources cited by the newspaper.