The strange death of the adviser to the Chief of the Ukrainian General Staff, Hennadiy Chastyakov, attracted a lot of attention in Ukraine, and initially there was even speculation about an assassination. A 39-year-old man died on Monday at home on his 39th birthday after a grenade exploded. According to the Ukrainian authorities, it was probably an accident.
For example, the Ukrainská Pravda website published information that Chastyakov died after opening a gift bag with a bottle of alcohol and pomegranate-shaped glasses. It was during the unwrapping of this gift that the explosion was supposed to occur. The server referred to anonymous sources and the wife’s statement.
However, Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko described the events differently later in the evening. “The tragedy in (the village of) Čajki is beginning to be accompanied by various information from ‘sources’. That is why I am officially informing you: during the initial investigation, it was possible to find out the first circumstances of the tragedy,” the Novynarnia server quoted his words from the Telegram social network.
According to him, Chastyakov came home from work on Monday evening – his birthday – with gifts from his colleagues and started showing them to his family. “He took out a gift box of grenades and started showing one of them to his son. They were grenades of the new Western type… The son first took the ammunition and started turning the ring. The soldier subsequently took the grenade from the child and pulled out the ring, causing a tragic explosion,” Klymenko described the tragedy.
Chastyakov’s thirteen-year-old son was also seriously injured in the incident. Chief of the General Staff Valery Zaluzhny offered his condolences to the family. According to him, Chastyakov “dedicated his life fully to the Armed Forces of Ukraine and the fight against Russian aggression.”
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The head of the Ministry of the Interior further confirmed previous media reports that investigators found five more unexploded grenades at Častyakov’s home, which will be sent for expert examination.
“The police found a colleague, a soldier, who gave him the fateful gift. His office has already been searched and two similar grenades were seized,” the minister added, adding that an investigation is underway and called for official conclusions.
According to information from the Kyiv Post server, they were German DM51 hand grenades produced by Diehl since the 1970s. The Ukrainian army allegedly received more than 100,000 pieces of this ammunition from Germany.
Ukrainian media do not explain why Ukrainian officers keep grenades in their offices and give them as gifts.