Ukrainian official killed on birthday after unwrapping gift containing live bomb

A Ukrainian officer was killed on his birthday by an explosive present, Ukraine’s top general wrote on his Telegram channel on Monday.

Major Hennadii Chastiakov, an assistant of Ukraine’s Commander-in-Chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, was killed by a grenade concealed in a gift bag in his home.

The general said the specific reasons and circumstances of the officer’s death are to be established in a pre-trial investigation.

Chastiakov’s wife said her husband was killed by a grenade contained in the birthday present, Ukrainska Pravda reported.

Ukrainian media reported earlier that Chastiakov, 39, was killed in his home in Chaiky.

Authorities said the officer’s 13-year-old son was seriously injured in the explosion and is in medical care.

Zaluzhyni said in his condolences: “From the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Hennadii was a reliable shoulder for me, completely devoting his life to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the fight against Russian aggression.”

Hennadii is survived by his wife and four children.

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Zaluzhyni added on Telegram: “Unspeakable pain and a heavy loss for the Armed Forces of Ukraine and for me personally.

“Today my aide and close friend died under tragic circumstances on his own birthday. My deepest condolences to the family…”

This comes as conflict continues to escalate between Ukraine and Russia.

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