Putin’s pilots ‘urged to defect to Ukraine’ after Russian escapes in helicopter

A Russian helicopter pilot who defected to Ukraine has called on his former colleagues to follow his example.

Maksim Kuzminov, 28, landed his Mi-8 military helicopter on August 23 in Ukrainian-held Kharkiv Oblast, surrendering upon arrival.

His two fellow pilots were killed and it later transpired that Mr Kuzminov had been working with Ukrainian intelligence to provide them with vital military secrets.

Speaking during a document entitled “Downed Russian Pilots”, which was aired on Ukrainian television over the week, the young defector called on his peers to follow suit, adding that they would “not regret it all”.

“If you do what I did, this kind of thing, you will not regret it at all. You will be provided for the rest of your life with absolutely everything,” Mr Kuzminov stated.

“You will be offered work everywhere, whatever you want to do. You will just discover for yourself the world of colours.”


Good morning

Good morning from London. I’m Tom Watling and I’ll be bringing you all the latest developments on the war in Ukraine. Please feel free to get in touch with me as I work if you have a story or tips to share! Your thoughts are always welcome.

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