April 16, 2024

Athens News

News in English from Greece

Russian pilot who surrendered to Ukraine along with a helicopter was killed in Spain

Maxim Kuzminov, the Russian pilot who hijacked a helicopter to Ukraine, was shot dead in Spain. The Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine confirmed the fact of his death.

A representative of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine, Andrei Yusov, without giving details, said on February 19 that the department “can confirm the fact of death”:

“He decided to move to Spain instead of being here. From what we know: he invited his ex to his place and was found shot dead.”

A source of the Ukrainian publication UP in the Main Intelligence Directorate reported that a burnt car was found not far from the place of death, “in which the liquidators supposedly left.”

According to Spanish edition ABC, authorities have not yet confirmed the information from the Ukrainian side. According to media reports, we are talking about a man whose body was discovered in the province of Alicante on February 13. Earlier about the death of Kuzminov reported the publication Il Corrispondente, citing a source in the Spanish Civil Guard, “who is investigating the case,” as well as Eureka news. ABC newspaper was the first to write about the crime that occurred in the town of Villajoyosa in Alicante last week, calling the murdered man a “33-year-old Ukrainian.” writes TASS.

The Civil Guard continues to find out the identity of the murdered man, since the documents found on him may be false, Europa Press reports. At the same time, Spanish state news agency EFE writes, citing a “source close to the investigation,” that it was Maxim Kuzminov who was killed.

According to Spanish media, Kuzminov was shot 12 times and then run over in a car. The body was discovered in a cottage community by a neighbor last Tuesday, February 13 at about five o’clock in the evening, in the city of La Villajoyosa in the province of Alicante. Soon after, investigators learned of a burned-out car in the nearby town of El Campello, where the alleged killer may have fled.

Sources in the Main Intelligence Directorate told Ukrainian journalists that the pilot was killed after his ex-girlfriend came to Spain from Russia. They also reported that he refused to live in Ukraine and decided to move to Europe.

In September 2023, reminds DW publication, it became known that Maxim Kuzminov hijacked a Russian military helicopter Mi-8 to Ukraine from the Kursk region. According to Ukrainian media, Kuzminov himself contacted the country’s intelligence service and, once in a combat zone, flew on an Mi-8 to Ukrainian territory at low altitude. For this he received security guarantees and the promise of a monetary reward.

In turn, Russian state media reported that on board, in addition to the pilot, there were a navigator and a combat technician who were killed. In October 2023, the Rossiya 1 TV channel aired a story dedicated to Kuzminov, where people who introduced themselves as special forces soldiers of the Main Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation (formerly GRU) said that he “will not live to see trial.”

Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov, who last year flew a Mi-8 helicopter to Ukraine, was offered to stay in Ukraine. About it reported in an interview with Ukrayinska Pravda, Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Alexey Danilov, writes edition “Country”. “Our country’s proposal was for him to remain in Ukraine. He would definitely be protected here. And I don’t think that they could commit such mischief here as happened in Spain,” Danilov said. He also noted that we should wait for the official conclusions of the Spanish side regarding the death of Kuzminov.

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