icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
23 Feb, 2024 14:12

EU state provided forged documents to murdered Russian traitor – media

Spain reportedly helped Maksim Kuzminov avoid detection after he betrayed his country
EU state provided forged documents to murdered Russian traitor – media

Spanish authorities provided Russian helicopter pilot Maksim Kuzminov with a fake ID after he defected to Ukraine and sacrificed his fellow crew members, El Pais reported on Friday. Kuzminov was gunned down in the resort town of Villajoyosa last week.

Kuzminov hijacked an Mi-8 cargo helicopter last August and flew it to Ukraine, reportedly taking a $500,000 reward from Kiev and dooming the craft’s two other crew members to being “liquidated.” After his betrayal, Kuzminov was settled on Spain’s Mediterranean coast, where he lived under a false identity.

The Spanish government helped Kuzminov lay low by providing him with a fake ID, El Pais reported, citing government sources. While Madrid apparently furnished the traitor with forged documents, he was not placed under any kind of protection, the newspaper added.

El Pais’ article backs up a similar report by El Mundo, which claimed on Wednesday that Kuzminov had been treated as a “secret political refugee” by Spanish authorities. 

Kuzminov was found dead last week, his body riddled with bullets and run over by a car. The vehicle believed to have been used in the hit was found torched a short distance from the crime scene.

While Spanish media initially identified the deceased as a 33-year-old Ukrainian national, Ukrainian military intelligence swiftly named him as Kuzminov. According to El Pais, the Spanish government believes that a Russian intelligence agency was behind the hit.

Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service chief, Sergey Naryshkin, declined to comment on the fatal shooting. However, Naryshkin told reporters that Kuzminov was a “traitor and criminal” who “had already become a moral corpse from the moment when he plotted his dirty and heinous crime.”

Villajoyosa is home to around 1,200 Ukrainians and 800 Russians, while more than 11,000 Ukrainians and 17,457 Russians live in the wider region of Alicante, according to census data. El Pais described this region as a “lion’s den” for anyone involved in the conflict looking to lie low, stating that while Kuzminov apparently requested to be placed in the area, he avoided shopping at Eastern European stores or visiting a popular local Orthodox church.

The Spanish government has refused to comment on any details of the case, with spokeswoman Pilar Alegria telling reporters on Tuesday that it is “under investigation.”