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Murdered Russian traitor pilot likely had ‘secret’ refugee status in Spain – El Mundo

The defector serviceman was reportedly found shot dead in a coastal Spanish town last week

The Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine and was shot dead in Spain last week likely enjoyed state protection from Madrid, and may have been treated as a “secret political refugee” by the authorities, Spanish daily El Mundo reported on Wednesday.

Maksim Kuzminov made headlines last August when he flew a Mi-8 military cargo helicopter to Ukraine. His defection resulted in the deaths of fellow crew members who were “liquidated,” according to Ukrainian intelligence.

The traitor pilot is believed to have been slain in the coastal Spanish town of Villajoyosa, where he had been apparently living under a false identity. The victim was shot multiple times and apparently run over by a car, with the vehicle found torched a distance from the crime scene.

The Villajoyosa murder was widely covered by local media, with the victim originally identified as a 33-year-old Ukrainian national, who had sought asylum in the country. Early this week, however, multiple outlets reported he was actually 28-year-old Kuzminov, with his identity, thus far, confirmed only by Kiev.

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Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergey Naryshkin.
Russian spy chief comments on death of defector pilot in Spain

Spanish authorities have remained silent on the matter, with government spokesperson Pilar Alegria urging reporters on Tuesday to “let the investigators work.”

No one seemed to know the victim in the small coastal community, with neighbors now speculating that he had stayed in the area only for a few days before his death, the newspaper noted.

Namely, no one in the local La Cala neighborhood association, nor the Orthodox church of Villajoyosa, nor retail outlets catering to Eastern Europeans seemed to know the former pilot, El Mundo reported.

Russian authorities offered a reserved reaction to the incident, with Foreign Intelligence Service chief Sergey Naryshkin only branding Kuzminov a “traitor” who had already become a “moral corpse” the moment he had begun plotting his “heinous crime.” However, Naryshkin did not confirm the identity of the Villajoyosa murder victim.

Ex-Russian President Dmitry Medvedev provided a similar assessment of the incident, without explicitly elaborating whether the slain man was indeed Kuzminov or not. “To a dog a dog’s death,” Medvedev told reporters on Wednesday.

February 22, 2024 at 01:38AM
RT

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