A Russian pilot flying to Ukraine said his helicopter crew panicked when they realized what was happening but couldn’t stop him as he was the only one who could fly it

  • A Russian pilot defected last month and took his helicopter to Ukraine, Ukrainian officials said.

  • The pilot said his crew couldn’t stop him as he was the only one on board who knew how to fly it.

  • He told journalists that the crew panicked and fled. Ukrainian officials said both were killed.

A Russian pilot said Ukraine defected and brought his helicopter over said his crew panicked when they found out what was going on, but there was nothing they could do as he was the only person on board who could fly it.

Ukrainian officials said a six-month conspiracy led to the landing of Russia’s Mi-8 AMTSh last month at a military airfield in Kharkiv, northeastern Ukraine.

Defense Intelligence of Ukraine identified the pilot as Maksym Kuzminov, a 28-year-old former captain of the 319th separate helicopter regiment of Russia.

Speaking at a news conference on Tuesday, Kuzminov described the panic among the other Russians on board. The Daily Beast reported.

“I had two crew members with me. We had no weapons, our pilots fly without weapons,” he said.

“No one could resist,” he added, because no one else on board knew how to pilot the helicopter.

“I reassured the boys, I told them everything is fine, good people live here and everything will be great. But they got scared and behaved a little aggressively and ran from the helicopter towards the border,” he said.

Previously the head of the Ukrainian secret service, Kyrylo Budanov said Radio Free Europe that the other two crew members on board were unaware that Kuzminov had defected and that they were “eliminated” when attempting to escape.

They refused to surrender, Ukrainian officials said said.

Kuzminov previously said that he left the Russian military to avoid being part of what he called the “genocide of the Ukrainian people.”

On Tuesday, he said other Russian troops should also defect to “not enable these crimes.”

According to The Beast, Kuzminov is now seeking a stake in the Ukrainian airline.

He said A previous video from Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Service said that “Ukraine will definitely win this war” because its people are united.

Kuzminov earlier said that his family was smuggled out of Russia before he fled.

Check out the original article Business Insider

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