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Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine found shot, run over by car in Spain

The people responsible for his murder reportedly shot him multiple times, ran him over with a car and then burned the car.

Published: February 21, 2024 2:37pm

A Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine with his military helicopter in August 2023 was found dead after being shot multiple times and run over by a car, according to Spanish police. 

The body of the pilot, Maksim Kuzminov, was discovered riddled with multiple bullets earlier this month in the town of Villajoyosa in southern Spain, according to police cited by the Spanish state-run news agency EFE.

The alleged attackers drove their getaway car over Kuzminov as they fled the scene, witnesses said. The vehicle was later found burned out nearby, per Catalan news outlet VilaWeb

Officials believe that Kuzminov was living under a false identity in Spain, as his body did not have the proper identifying documents. Kuzminov is believed to have lived in Ukraine for several months after his defection before moving to Spain in December. 

Ukrainian Military Intelligence spokesperson Andri Yusov confirmed Kuzminov's death but did not mention where the body was discovered. 

Russian Foreign Intelligence Service head Sergey Naryshkin did not confirm the victim discovered in Spain was Kuzminov, but he said: "This traitor and criminal became a moral corpse the moment he planned his dirty and terrible crime."

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