Deserted with the helicopter, Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov killed in Spain. Yet another mystery


By John

A Russian pilot who deserted and surrendered to the Ukrainian army in August and handed himself in aboard the helicopter he was flying has been found dead in Spain. This was reported by the Kyiv Post. The pilot’s death was confirmed by a source from Ukrainian military intelligence (GUR), Andri Yusov, who however did not mention the place where Maxim Kuzminov was found dead.

A GUR source told another Ukrainian newspaper, Ukrainska Pravda, that the pilot was shot dead. According to the same source, a burnt car that may have been used by the killers was found near his house.

Kuzminov had decided to go and live in Spain instead of staying in Ukraine, according to the Gur source. The Russian’s defection became public knowledge in September last year when the Ukrainian GUR published images in which the pilot – who was 28 years old at the time – explained that he had been contacted by enemy military intelligence, who had told him offered to switch to the Ukrainian side in exchange for money and protection.

In the video, Kuzminov was seen landing his helicopter, a Mi-8 fighter jet, at a military base in the Kharkiv region of eastern Ukraine and the border with Russia. According to the head of the Ukrainian GUR, Kirilo Budanov, Kuzminov had crossed the border by flying under the radar detection area together with other crew members who, however, were unaware of his plans and died when, after landing, they had tried to escape.

Budanov also explained at the time that Ukrainian military intelligence had managed to smuggle the defecting pilot’s family out of Russia. In October 2023, Russia’s main TV channel, Rossiya 1, aired a report in which Russian military intelligence officials claimed they would track down Kuzminov, punish him “to the fullest extent of the law” and that he would not live. “enough to see the trial.”