Maxim Kuzminov, the 28-year-old Russian pilot who defected to the Ukrainian Army with the helicopter he was piloting and was found dead in Spain, lived in Villajoyosa, in the province of Alicante, but went almost unnoticed, according to the Spanish newspaper El Mundo .

The publication indicates that the Russian was shot five timeson February 13th, in a garage in the La Cala de la Vila urbanization, a residential area where around eight thousand people live, the majority of whom are foreigners.

Located about 13 kilometers from Benidorm, one of the best-known tourist attractions in Spain and home to a large immigrant population, Villajoyosa was, according to El Mundo, the perfect place for Kuzminov to “go unnoticed surrounded by Russian and Ukrainian citizens”.

Neighbors believe that the Russian pilot was in the region only a few days ago, as no one knew him: neither the residents’ association, nor the Villajoyosa Orthodox Church, nor those responsible for an oriental products supermarket, nor the Eastern Europeans. who manage a restaurant in the city.

Next to the body, it was false documentation was found with Kuzminov’s fingerprints, which gave him Ukrainian nationality and 33 years of age.

The information has not yet been officially confirmed by the Spanish Ministry of the Interior, but the director of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, Sergei Naryshkin, has already stated that the victim was a “criminal traitor”which had become a “moral corpse” after defecting.

A preliminary investigation into the death points to organized crime. Five shots were fired and the shooters fled in the victim’s own car, which was then abandoned in a neighboring town and burned before being found hours later by authorities.

Maxim Kuzminov made news in August last year after it was reported that defected to Ukraine with the help of Kyiv’s secret servicestaking his MI-8 helicopter to the country.

General Kyrylo Budanov, head of Ukraine’s secret services, confirmed that the operation took place without the rest of the crew being aware. “We were able to create conditions for your entire family to leave [da Rússia] without being detected and eventually creating the conditions for him to take control of this plane with a crew that didn’t know what was happening,” he said.

According to the head of the secret services, “two more people” were with the pilot, making it “a complete crew of three people in total”. “When they realized where they had landed, they tried to escape. Unfortunately, they were eliminated. We would prefer [apanhá-los] alive, but things are as they are,” he added.

It was later reported that Kuzminov would receive a reward of 500 thousand dollars (about 18.48 million Ukrainian hryvnias). The measure is part of a law approved by the Ukrainian parliament in April 2022, which offers up to one million dollars to the Russian military who manage to transfer equipment to Ukraine.

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