New version of Russian traitor pilot’s assassination revealed — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

New version of Russian traitor pilot’s assassination revealed — RT Russia & Former Soviet Union

Source link

Investigators reportedly believe Maxim Kuzminov blew his cover while preparing for his mother’s arrival in Spain, according to El Mundo

Spanish investigators have come up with a new theory about how Russian defector pilot Maxim Kuzminov gave away his real identity before being assassinated, news outlet El Mundo has reported.

Last August, Kuzminov hijacked a Russian Mi-8 cargo helicopter and flew it to Ukraine, reportedly for a $500,000 reward, and his two fellow crew members were “liquidated” by Kiev. He was supposedly given a Ukrainian passport and moved to Spain, where he lived under an alias in the resort town of Villajoyosa. On February 13, his body was found riddled with bullets and run over by a car.

While Spanish Defense Minister Margarita Robles has said the country’s authorities were previously unaware of Kuzminov’s real identity, El Mundo reported on Monday that Madrid knew about the defector’s presence in Spain “from the first day.”

The outlet claimed that investigators have moved away from their initial theory that Kuzminov was traced by his assailants while trying to get in touch with his girlfriend, and currently believe he blew his cover when he began making arrangements to get his mother, Irina Kuzminova, to join him in Alicante – a Spanish province where a large number of Russians reside.

Kuzminova is said to have left Russia some time before her son hijacked the Mi-8 under the pretext that she would be going on a trip to Korea, but instead moved to Ukraine where she still lives in “hiding under the protection of Kiev agents,” the report said.

Kuzminov’s “fatal mistake,” Spanish investigators apparently believe, was using an old relationship to contact his loved ones and making calls with a Ukrainian cell phone, which is thought to have been tapped. El Mundo also reported that the late pilot’s former classmate and ex-girlfriend, Elizaveta Ponomareva, could have played “some role” in his murder as she was the only person with whom he was seen in public photographs published shortly before his death.

While Spanish officials believe that Kuzminov’s murder was orchestrated by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) as payback for the Mi-8 incident, Moscow has denied being behind the former officer’s death.

While he has not commented on the hit itself, SVR chief Sergey Naryshkin called Kuzminov a “traitor and a criminal” who had become a “moral corpse” the moment he decided to carry out his betrayal.

Kuzminov’s estranged father, Oleg Sivaev, also told Russian media that his son’s untimely end had not come as a surprise, calling him a “Judas” who sold out his country for a fistful of dollars.

You can share this story on social media:

Follow RT on