Russian military pilot ‘defects’ to Ukraine – and brings helicopter with him

A Russian helicopter pilot defected to Ukraine after reportedly being “lured” throughout a six-month intelligence operation, Ukraine claims.

Ukraine’s GUR military intelligence company stated an Mi-8 helicopter landed at a Ukrainian airfield with the pilot and his unsuspecting crew members, with out specifying when.

It comes after a Russian military blogger claimed in current weeks {that a} helicopter crossed the border with three individuals on board after it had misplaced its means, however Ukraine now claims this was a deliberate transfer.

“This was a GUR operation,” spokesperson Andriy Yusov stated on Wednesday. “The plane moved in accordance to the plan.

“You have to to wait a bit, work is being carried out, together with with the crew. Every part is ok, there will likely be information.”

Ukrainian media outlet Ukrainska Pravda cited unnamed intelligence sources saying the company labored for months to persuade the pilot to cooperate and fly the plane to Ukraine. The report stated the helicopter landed in japanese Ukraine with the pilot. Two different crew members who have been unaware of the plan have been subsequently “liquidated”.

Ukrainian military journalist Yuriy Butusov stated the helicopter was absolutely operational and would serve within the Ukrainian armed forces after being examined.

In accordance to The Guardian, Russian blogger Fighterbomber, offered the cross-border flight as an accident initially, saying: “The crew, for some motive, misplaced their bearings and crossed the border.

“Realising the place they landed, they made an try to take off, however have been shot whereas the helicopter was on the bottom. Presumably, two board members died and the commander was taken hostage.”

If true, the information of such a defection would come as an enormous blow to Moscow because it has struggled to set up air superiority in Ukraine.

Simply days in the past it was reported {that a} supersonic Russian bomber was destroyed in a drone assault lots of of miles from Ukraine.

Ukraine can also be awaiting the supply of dozens of F-16 fighter jets from Denmark and the Netherlands. Nonetheless, the planes will solely be handed over as soon as after the pilots are educated, which won’t occur till subsequent yr.

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