Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine ‘shot dead’ in Spain

The body of a man who was shot dead in Spain is believed to be that of a Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine last year. In August, Maxim Kuzminov flew a helicopter into Ukrainian territory, where he handed himself in.

Spanish police have not publicly confirmed the identity of the man, who was killed near Alicante last week.

However, Ukrainian intelligence confirmed Mr Kuzminov’s death on Monday.

A spokesperson told the Ukrainian outlet Ukrayinska Pravda: “We confirm the fact of his death… He decided to move to Spain rather than remain here.

“What we know is that he invited his ex-spouse to join him and then he was found shot to death.”

Spanish authorities told the BBC that the victim may have been living under a false identity.

According to Spanish news agency Efe, Mr Kuzminov’s body was found near a property in the town of Villajoyosa on Spain’s eastern coast alongside documentation matching his nationality, but with a different name. A burnt-out car apparently used by the attackers was found near the scene of the crime, the intelligence agency’s press service told the outlet.





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