Russian intelligence agencies have reportedly been ordered to kill pilot Maxim Kuzminov, who hijacked a Mi-8 helicopter and brought it to Ukraine in August, according to the Russian TV programme Vesti Nedeli which was aired on the Rossiya 1 channel.
The Russian channel showed footage of several interviews that Kuzminov gave to Ukrainian journalists. The author of the TV program, war correspondent Sergei Zenin, referred to Kuzminov as a "traitor to his homeland". According to the version presented in the report, Kuzminov personally killed two of his comrades - members of the Mi-8 crew - whom he had deceived and lured into Ukrainian territory. Kuzminov claims that both bodies returned to the Russian side had one bullet wound each.
"Kuzminov, the traitor, will not be forgiven," says Zenin. According to a representative of counterintelligence, his crime has no statute of limitations. All pilots currently fighting in the conflict zone dream of avenging their fallen comrades. And they intend to do so before Ukrainian special services lose interest in Kuzminov and take matters into their own hands," he adds. The report goes on to say that Russia's GRU special forces have already received orders, and masked individuals claim that the pilot will definitely be found and "won't live to see the trial".
Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov hijacked a Mi-8 helicopter and landed it on Ukrainian territory. Two other members of the crew, a flight engineer named Nikita and a navigator named Khurshed, were killed in the incident. Kirill Budanov, the head of Ukraine's Military Intelligence Directorate, claimed they were killed while attempting to flee. The Russian FSB has opened a criminal case against Kuzminov.