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Intelligence confirms death of Russian pilot who snatched Mi-8 to Ukraine

He was found dead in Spain.

Intelligence confirms death of Russian pilot who snatched Mi-8 to Ukraine
Maksim Kuzminov
Photo: Media Center Ukraine - Ukrinform

Russian pilot Maksim Kuzminov, who last year defected on an Mi-8 helicopter to Ukraine, was found dead in Spain, a representative of the Ukrainian Defence Ministry's Main Intelligence Directorate, Andriy Yusov, has confirmed, Suspilne reports.

"We can confirm the fact of his death," Yusov said.

The circumstances of the death are not yet officially known.

Citing intelligence sources, Ukrayinska Pravda noted that Kuzminov decided to move to Spain instead of staying in Ukraine. He also invited his ex-girlfriend. The pilot was found shot dead, and a burnt-out car, which may have been used by the killers, was found near the crime scene.

Details of the special operation "Titmouse"

· Last year in August, after six months of training, a Russian Mi-8 pilot flew it to Ukraine. Kuzminov had two other crew members on board, whom he tried to persuade to surrender to Ukraine. They refused and, after landing, started fleeing towards the border, so they were eliminated.

· Ukraine received not only the Mi-8, but also spare parts for the aircraft it was carrying.

· The family of the Russian pilot was taken out of Russia before the special operation, so they are safe. Kuzminov received the promised monetary reward and said at the time that he was considering staying in Ukraine.

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