Andriy Yusov, spokesperson for the Main Intelligence Directorate of Ukraine (HUR), confirmed to Kyiv Post the death of Russian pilot Kuzminov, who seized control of a Russian armored combat Mi-8 helicopter and brought it safely to an airbase in the Kharkiv region back in August of 2023.

"We can confirm the fact of death," Yusov told Kyiv Post, providing no additional details.

According to Russian media, Maksim Kuzminov was shot dead, with at least five bullets in his body. He was found in an underground parking lot in the municipality of Villajoyosa, in the province of Alicante, Spain.

Last August, Ukrainian intelligence conducted a successful operation "Titmouse": Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov voluntarily brought an Mi-8 helicopter from Russia to Kharkiv region, into the hands of awaiting Ukrainian military intelligence.

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According to HUR, the operation not only involved capturing the Mi-8 helicopter but also acquiring valuable documentation and secret technical equipment.

The pilot said his motive was opposition to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, saying he didn’t want to be a part of it.  In return for conducting this special operation, he was offered security guarantees, new documents, and monetary compensation. 

"The truth is right here. That there are no fascists or Nazis here," he said. "And I am very sorry for what is happening now. The killings, the tears, the blood. People are just killing each other, and that's it. This is the only thing I don't understand, the only thing I didn't want. What is happening now is simply a genocide of the Ukrainian people," Kuzminov said in a documentary published by HUR.

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I do not want to be an accomplice to Russian crimes... Ukraine will win – it's only a matter of time," Kuzminov added.

According to HUR's documentary, Ukrainian military intelligence facilitated a safe corridor for the helicopter’s flight. However, the pilot sustained injuries during the capture. Two other crew members chose “not to surrender and lost their lives upon landing.”

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The Ukrainian Operation “Titmouse” became the first in this war when the Ukrainian special services managed to capture a new Russian aircraft in combat condition, as well as to lure a high-profile young Russian pilot to their side.

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Comments (9)

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Andrew
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hahahahahahahaha

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Martin C
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I would say that there is likely some Russian assets in Spain or elsewhere whom this guy was betrayed. A clear priority for the Kremlin to eliminate him as to deter others.

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Joseph Swanson
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Sloppy security work on behalf of Spain. Spain's security service, Centro Nacional de Inteligencia (CNI)...obviously employs amateurs.

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PutinIsACoward
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This death could have been avoided, but every little detail about the war is reported, unnecessarily. Ukrainian technology gets reported and Russia copies it or figures out how to work around it. Someone defects and it's turned into a media circus, a spectacle; now, that person, tracked by Russia, gets murdered. Too many secrets are openly given to the public which allow Russia to change or modify their tactics. Secrets should remain secret, making Russia work harder to overcome or figure out.

skwish
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@PutinIsACoward, You have very strong PutinDS and RussianDS

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Frenchbruce
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Tragic end for the Russian. Clearly Putin had demanded his assassins to find him.

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jay dinneen
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the most interesting fact about this man's death is that it was in spain and appears to be an assassination.

Frenchbruce
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@jay dinneen, it suggests that Ukrainian govt people must be very careful about their own safety...I would suggest that some in Ukraine was a paid informer for this assassination and they should be hunted down themselves.

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james
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"..Two other crew members chose “not to surrender and lost their lives upon landing.”.."

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Finn
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It was pity that secret services could not protect him.

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Chris
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Rest in peace man, You did what is right and died for it too. All russia knows how to do is MURDER,MURDER,MURDER.

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