An explosive device…hidden in a birthday present killed the close associate of the Chief of the General Staff of the Army, Major Gennady Chastyakov. The Washington Post “sees” involvement of the Zelensky system
A grenade given as a birthday present detonated, killing a close aide of the head of Ukraine’s armed forces, Valery Zaluzny. Major Gennady Chastyakov, 39, had returned to his apartment with gifts from his colleagues and he was opening them with his teenage son when the grenade exploded.
Major Chastyakov was killed and his 13-year-old son was seriously injured. The explosion has been described as a “tragic accident” and Interior Minister Igor Klimenko has called on the public to wait for the outcome of the official investigation. Police said the explosion at the victim’s family apartment in the western suburbs of Kiev was caused by “the incorrect use of ammunition”.
But it was soon revealed that five more grenades were found in the apartment. Klimenko said it was a gift from a colleague in the army. Security forces found two similar grenades on the man who delivered the bomb gift.
Pictures from the scene showed other grenades on the floor of the apartment, along with other gift bags. Chastyakov had apparently brought the grenades home in a bag with a bottle of whiskey. A source told Ukrainska Pravda that the bottle was in a gift bag with glasses in the shape of a grenade, and the explosion occurred when he opened the bag. According to other reports the colleague had handed over the bottle saying: “It’s hard to surprise you: That’s why I give you combat grenades and a bottle of good whiskey”.
General Zaluzni spoke about him untold pain and heavy loss suffered by the Ukrainian army and himself personally, describing Major Chastyakov as a “trusted shoulder” since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Chachyakov’s death is a result of the public conflict between Ukrainian President Zelensky and Ukrainian Army Chief Zaluzny, the Washington Post suggests. Many consider the Ukrainian president and Zaluzny to be political rivals. In recent days, this rift has become more apparent as Zaluzny publicly admitted that the Ukrainian Army has effectively been defeated on the front, an assessment Zelensky disagreed with.
His death is the latest setback for the Ukrainian military, after a rocket attack killed 19 soldiers in a Russian attack on an awards ceremony near the front line in the southern region of Zaporizhia. There was widespread criticism that the ceremony had been allowed to take place in a dangerous area. MP Mariana Bezoula said his death was due to negligence: “I would never have thought that Hennadiy would die of carelessness on his own birthday. Grenades are not given as gifts”
However, the official cause of the explosion was disputed by Ukrainian commentators, some of whom have speculated that it was an attack on General Zaluzny himself, following speculation that he may have been attending his aide’s birthday celebrations.
Last week the commander-in-chief gave a stark assessment of the situation on Ukraine’s front line against Russia’s invading forces. “As in the First World War, we have reached a stalemate,” he told the Economist. Both the Kremlin and President Zelensky deny that the war has reached a stalemate. “Today people are tired, everyone is tired and there are different opinions. This is clear, but there is no dead end,” said Zelensky