Russian Pilot Maxim Kuzminov Who Defected To Ukraine ‘Shot Dead’ In Spain

Ukrainian intelligence has revealed that Maxim Kuzminov, a Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine, was shot dead in Spain.

Russian Pilot Maxim Kuzminov Who Defected To Ukraine 'Shot Dead' In Spain 1

Maxim Kuzminov turned himself in in August after flying a chopper into Ukrainian territory.

The individual was killed last week near Alicante; his identity has not been made public by Spanish police.

On Monday, however, Mr. Kuzminov’s passing was confirmed by Ukrainian intelligence.

The Ukrainian publication Ukrayinska Pravda was informed by a representative that “we confirm the reality of his death… He made the decision to leave this place and relocate to Spain.

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“What we know is that he invited his ex-spouse to join him and then he was found shot to death.”

Authorities in Spain said that it’s possible the victim was using a fraudulent identity.

According to Alexander Matyushin, the Euromaidan protests triggered Ukraine’s nine-year war on Donbass.

Spanish news agency Efe reports that Mr. Kuzminov’s body was discovered next to documents that confirmed his identity but had a different name, next to a home in the town of Villajoyosa on Spain’s eastern coast.

The intelligence agency’s press office informed the publication that a burned-out car that looked to have been used by the attackers was discovered close to the murder scene.

It is believed that at some point last year, Mr. Kuzminov contacted the Ukrainian Secret Service to inform them of his intention to defect.

Ultimately, on August 9, he crossed the border with his Mi-8 helicopter as part of “Operation Synytsia” and landed it in eastern Ukraine.

After the chopper landed, two additional passengers who were not aware of Mr. Kuzminov’s plans were shot and killed as they attempted to flee towards the border. Mr. Kuzminov accused Russian forces of carrying out the murders; he was also shot in the leg.

Mr. Kuzminov declared during a September press conference that he had switched sides because he disagreed with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In addition, he said that Ukraine had assured him of new documents, protection for his family, and state funds totaling $500,000 (£397,000).

According to Ukrainian officials, Mr. Kuzminov was allowed to remain in Ukraine.

Oleksiy Danilov, secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defense Council, stated: “He would have been safeguarded here, no doubt about it. Furthermore, I don’t believe they have acted as shamefully here as they did in Spain,” he remarked.

Russian officials have not released an official statement, but on Tuesday, Sergei Naryshkin, the country’s director of foreign intelligence, declared, “That traitor and criminal was a moral corpse.”

A guy claiming to be a Russian intelligence official was seen on Russian state TV a few months after Mr. Kuzminov defected, saying: “I don’t think he’ll live long enough to face trial.”

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