Russian pilot “shot dead” in Spain after defecting to Ukraine

axim Kuzminov defected from Russia in August 2023 by flying his helicopter over the border with Ukraine

A man was shot and killed in Spain. There is speculation that he is the Russian helicopter pilot who traveled to Ukraine last year.

In August, Maxim Kuzminov flew a helicopter into Ukraine and turned himself in.

The Spanish police have not said who the man is, but he was killed near Alicante last week.

But, Ukrainian spies said that Mr Kuzminov died on Monday.

“We confirm that he died,” said a representative to the Ukrainian news outlet Ukrayinska Pravda. He chose to go to Spain instead of staying here.

“He asked his former wife to come with him, and later he was found dead from a gunshot. ”

Spanish police told the media that the person who got hurt might have been living using a fake name.

According to the Spanish news agency Efe, the body of Mr. Kuzminov was found near a house in the town of Villajoyosa on the eastern coast of Spain. His documents matched his nationality, but had a different name on them.

A burned car that might have been used by the attackers was found close to where the crime happened, the intelligence agency’s press service said.

Last year, Mr Kuzminov told the Ukrainian secret service that he wanted to leave and join them.

The “Operation Synytsia” allowed him to fly his Mi-8 helicopter over the border and land it in eastern Ukraine on 9 August.

Two more people on the helicopter didn’t know what Mr. Kuzminov was going to do. They were shot and killed when they tried to run back to the border after the helicopter landed. Kuzminov, who was also shot in the leg, said that the Russian forces were responsible for the killings.

In September, Mr Kuzminov said in a news conference that he changed his mind and joined the other side because he didn’t agree with Russia’s war on Ukraine.

He also said that Ukraine agreed to give him $500,000 (£397,000) in government payments, new documents, and protection for his family.

The Ukrainian government said they gave Mr Kuzminov the chance to stay in Ukraine.

The person in charge of keeping Ukraine safe said that the person would have been safe here. “He said they didn’t behave as badly here as they did in Spain. ”

Russian officials have not made a statement, but Sergei Naryshkin, who runs Russia’s spy agency, called the person a traitor and criminal.

A few months after Mr Kuzminov left, Russian TV showed a man who is supposed to be a Russian spy saying, “I don’t think he will live long enough to go to trial. “


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