Gennady Chastyakov, assistant to the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was killed as a result of the explosion of the grenade that he received as a gift from a colleague of his, Ukraine's Minister of Internal Affairs Igor Klimenko said.
According to him, Chastyakov, a 39-year-old major, returned home with gifts from colleagues that he received in honour of his birthday. A box of Western-style grenades was among them. The military man decided to show the grenades to his 13-year-old son.
The teenager took a grenade in his hands and started playing with it. Chastyakov then took the grenade and may have pulled out the pin causing the explosion to occur. Chastyakov was killed, his son was hospitalised in serious condition. The police found five more similar unexploded grenades at the site of the accident. They will be sent for examination.
The police identified the person who gifted the box of ammo to Gennady Chastyakov. It turned out to be Chastyakov's comrade-in-arms, senior assistant to the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine Alexander Timchenko.
Timchenko admitted that it was his idea to put a bottle of whiskey and six grenades in a wooden box. Upon presentation, he told Chastyakov that he chose such a gift because it was hard to surprise him. He notified the deceased that he was giving him military ammunition. Three people who witnessed the moment when the colonel was presenting his gift confirmed Timchenko's words.
Most likely, Chastyakov did not believe his colleague and assumed that the grenades were whiskey glasses designed in a specific shape.
Chastyakov's death came as a blow to the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Commenting on the incident, Valery Zaluzhny said that Gennady Chastyakov was a close friend of his.
However, many in Ukraine found the officer's death suspicious. Some believe that Chastyakov was either killed in a terrorist attack or eliminated as a pawn in the conflict between Valery Zaluzhny and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
On November 3, the commander of the Special Operations Forces, Major General Viktor Khorenko, was dismissed from his post. He learned about his resignation from news reports. "I spoke to Zaluzhny, and he could not explain that to me either,” he added.
On October 9, Zelensky replaced the commander of Territorial Defence Forces of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, Igor Tantsyura. The general commanded these troops since May 2022.
Both military leaders claimed that the situation at the front was difficult for the Armed Forces of Ukraine.