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Russian helicopter pilot defected to Ukraine

A Russian pilot, who disagreed with the invasion of Ukraine, defected to Ukrainian forces, taking with him the Mi-8 helicopter of which he was the pilot, during a special operation that had been kept secret, the Ukrainian military intelligence service announced today.

“The pilot is now in Ukraine” while the two other members of the helicopter’s crew, who were unaware of his intentions, “were killed after landing,” the agency said.

Kiev explained that it had been preparing this operation “for months” after the pilot, named Maxim Kuzminov, contacted Ukrainian forces and asked for security guarantees.

When he got the chance, at one point while flying the helicopter near the border, he descended low until he reached the pre-agreed point with the Ukrainians, the defense ministry said, without specifying when exactly that happened.

Military intelligence said Kuzminov served in the Russian Air Force’s 319th Helicopter Squadron, which is based in Primorye, in the Russian Far East.

At the same time, his family was transferred “safely” to Ukraine.

Source: News Beast

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