Russian deserter shot in Spain – Russian deserter was killed in Spain – what is known? -News


Maxim Kuzminov defected to Ukraine last year and has been living in Spain ever since. Now he was shot. Russia is suspected.

What is it about? Last Tuesday a man was killed near Alicante. The perpetrators shot him from a passing car. We now know that it is the former Russian military pilot and deserter Maxim Kuzminov.

Who was Maxim Kuzminov? Kuzminov was a Russian military pilot. Last summer he decided to defect to Ukraine. He flew to Ukraine in his Mi-8 army helicopter. The Ukrainian secret service celebrated this as a coup. The Ukrainian army is said to have paid 460,000 euros for the change of front. He later went to Spain and lived there under a new name. Residents report that Kuzminov lived in Villajoyosa and worked in construction.

What is known about the crime? Kuzminov’s body was found in an underground car park in Villajoyosa. He had multiple gunshot wounds. Residents heard shots and informed the police. The Guardia Civil, the Spanish police, found papers next to the body. She already doubted the authenticity of the papers. They identified the man as a 33-year-old Ukrainian. The police later confirmed, also based on information from Ukrainian military intelligence, that it was the defected Russian pilot.

Is Russia behind the killing? It is reasonable to suspect that the Russian secret service could be behind the death. The suspicion was reinforced by statements made yesterday by the Russian foreign intelligence chief. He described Kuzminov as a moral corpse. However, politics is cautious. Spanish government spokeswoman Pilar Alegría, for example, simply referred to the ongoing investigations.

Maxim Kuzminov at a press conference.


The Russian pilot was a moral corpse when he planned his crime, says SWR director Sergei Naryshkin, according to Russian news agencies. He declines to comment further on the case.

Keystone/AP/Vladyslav Musiienko

How is the investigation carried out? The Spanish Civil Guard has started the investigation and is interviewing witnesses. Eyewitnesses can witness the escape of the alleged perpetrator’s car. The freelance journalist Julia Macher also says: “The length of time Kuzminov has lived in Spain and, above all, whether the authorities knew his true identity will also play a role in these investigations.” Nothing is known about this yet.

How is the Spanish media reacting to the case? Some Spanish media have already described Kuzminov as a victim of the hybrid war that Russia is waging against the West, explains Julia Macher. They speculate about the involvement of the Russian secret service or paid mercenaries. But in general, a neutral tone also dominates in the media.

What about the Russian and Ukrainian communities in Spain? Figures from last summer show that around 80,000 Russian citizens live in Spain. There is also the Ukrainian community. According to Julia Macher, Spain has been hosting around 180,000 Ukrainian refugees since the war. “There is always friction and conflict between these two groups. So far these have been within the scope of normal interpersonal relationships. But after this alleged murder of Kuzminov, fear is running rampant.” According to interviews, other deserters fear for their lives.

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