Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Matthew G. Saroff
2 min readNov 7, 2023

In the Ukraine, Major Gennadiy Chastiakov, a senior aide to Commander-in-Chief of the Ukrainian military General Valery Zaluzhny, was killed when a hand grenade among his birthday gifts exploded.

My first though was, “Great, another assassination,” but it turns out that these grenades were actually intended as a birthday gift.

Who the f%$# gives live hand grenades as a birthday gift?

A close adviser to the commander-in-chief of Ukraine’s army has been killed after a grenade amongst his birthday presents exploded, according to officials.

“Under tragic circumstances, my assistant and close friend, Major Gennadiy Chastiakov, was killed … on his birthday,” Gen Valery Zaluzhny posted on Telegram on Monday, saying that an “unknown explosive device detonated in one of his gifts”.

Chastiakov’s death was initially reported as a suspected assassination using a booby-trapped gift until further details emerged. Ukraine’s interior minister, Igor Klymenko, released a statement saying Chastiakov had been showing his son a box with grenades inside that he had received as a gift.

“At first, the son took the munition in his hands and began to turn the ring. Then the serviceman took the grenade away from the child and pulled the ring, causing a tragic explosion,” Klymenko said.

Police had identified a fellow soldier who gave the gift, said Klymenko, and seized two similar grenades. An investigation was under way.

Ukrainian police said the 13-year-old son was also seriously injured. Ukrainska Pravda reported Chastiakov’s wife as saying the grenade was in a gift bag her husband brought home. Some reports suggested the real grenade was amongst novelty gifts shaped to look like grenades.

So, a member of the Ukrainian military did not know the difference between a gag grenade and a real one?

I think there may be a minor problem with training and inventory procedures in the AFU.

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