Russian spy director makes remarks on passing of defector pilot in Spain

(MENAFN) Sergey Naryshkin, the chief of Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service, has labeled the reported death of a Russian military helicopter pilot, Maksim Kuzminov, in Spain as a "heinous crime" committed by a "traitor." Kuzminov had defected to Ukraine six months prior, hijacking a Mi-8 helicopter last August and flying it across the border. Upon landing in Ukraine, his two fellow crew members met unclear fates, with Ukrainian intelligence stating that they had been "liquidated."

When questioned about the reported death of the defector in Spain, Naryshkin refrained from commenting on the incident directly, opting instead to condemn Kuzminov's actions. In a customary Russian approach, Naryshkin remarked that only positive or no comments are made about the deceased, but in this case, Kuzminov was deemed a "traitor and criminal" who became a "moral corpse" when he plotted his defection.

The death of Kuzminov was widely reported by various media outlets, and Ukrainian military intelligence swiftly confirmed the incident. According to Spanish news agency EFE, the pilot was fatally shot in the coastal town of Villajoyosa. The victim, initially identified as a 33-year-old Ukrainian national, reportedly sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was subsequently run over by a car. The vehicle believed to be involved in the hit was later found torched at a distance from the crime scene.

The circumstances surrounding Kuzminov's death add another layer of intrigue to an already complex narrative, raising questions about potential motives and the covert nature of defections in the realm of international espionage. As the incident unfolds, it sheds light on the delicate and often perilous nature of individuals involved in defection and the geopolitical tensions that can ensue.


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