Grenade gift kills aide to Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief on his birthday

By Esther Muhozi
On 8 November 2023 at 09:16

Yuri Chistyakov, the aide to Ukraine’s commander in chief met with a tragic accident involving hand grenades given to him as a birthday gift by his colleagues. He died on Monday while opening his birthday presents at home with his son.

The Special Prosecutor’s Office in Ukraine’s central region is currently conducting an investigation into this incident. According to official statements, Chastyakov had returned home with birthday presents from his colleagues, which included six hand grenades of "Western" make.

Chastyakov’s son reportedly picked up one of these grenades, and when Chastyakov attempted to retrieve it from him, a tragic accident occurred as the major accidentally pulled the pin of the grenade, causing an explosion. This explosion resulted in Chastyakov’s immediate death, while his 13-year-old son suffered serious injuries and was hospitalized.

A spokesperson for Ukraine’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, Maryana Reva, has revealed that the identity of the person who likely gifted the grenades to Major Chastyakov is known to authorities, although his name has not been disclosed. Reva mentioned that this individual did inform Chastyakov that the grenades were live, but the major apparently did not believe this warning. She characterized the incident as a result of careless handling of the ammunition, based on initial investigations and the collected evidence and testimonies.

Reva stated that interviews and evidence collection are ongoing as authorities continue to probe the incident. During a search of the person who allegedly gave Chastyakov the fatal gift, two similar grenades were found.

Commander-in-Chief Zaluzhny confirmed the death of his "assistant and close friend" through a Telegram post, expressing deep sorrow over the loss.

He noted that Chastyakov’s death was particularly poignant as it occurred on his birthday and offered his condolences to Chastyakov’s family. Zaluzhny praised Chastyakov’s unwavering commitment to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and his dedication to countering Russian aggression, especially during the full-scale invasion.

Aide to Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief has been killed by a grenade gift that exploded on his birthday.