Valuable intelligence collected in runaway helicopter operation - GUR
That’s according to Andriy Yusov, a spokesman for the Ukrainian military intelligence agency, who spoke at a press conference to reveal the details of the brazen mission, Ukrinform reports.
"GUR’s special operation caused a stir not only in our country but also beyond its borders. This is a really important and extremely complex operation, which is of fundamental importance for our security and defense forces, and it will also have long-term consequences for the aggressor power for their morale, as well as for their security and defense sector. After all, as a result of the operation, we obtained extremely important intelligence about their air force and many other details that will help us protect our skies and destroy the enemy," Yusov said.
According to the official, the National Police and the Armed Forces contributed to the success of the mission as it was a complex effort that took several months to accomplish. Nothing of this kind has ever been done in Ukraine, the spokesman noted.
Yusov introduced to journalists Captain Maksim Kuzminov, the Mi-8 pilot, noting that he reached out to the Ukrainian side on his own initiative because he condemns Russia's genocidal war against Ukraine and the actions of the Vladimir Putin regime.
Kuzminov noted that from the very outset of the full-scale invasion, he chose not to support Russia’s aggression. "What was the impetus for my decision? This is a complete understanding of what is happening. I decided for myself that this is a brutal crime. And that I simply will not take part in this, no matter what. Yes, I do have a plane I left behind in Russia and yes, I have a good salary that I left behind, too, as well as two apartments and I almost had a pension there. In fact, many things held me back, but now it's all unimportant to me. It was important not to take part in this crime," the pilot said.
He assured journalists that no one coerced him into doing anything as the decision was deliberate and independent. "I decided so myself, and after that, we were designing routes for almost half a year, thinking of how it would be safer to execute the stunt," said the Russian.
The pilot added that he was engaged in the transportation of troops and cargo across Russia during the full-scale war, adding that he never launched strikes on Ukraine. Should he receive such an order, he would not have performed it, he claims.
A Ukrainian journalist and military serviceman, author of the "Military Intelligence of Ukraine" documentary series Artem Shevchenko emphasized that Ukraine was able to prevent the enemy from flying into Ukraine’s territory anymore, which is critical. "We showed this in the film, that our fight is complex, exhausting, and multi-stage. Not everything happened at once, but everything was very dynamic. As a result, we managed to kick the enemy out of our sky," he said.
As reported, the film "Downed Russian Pilots" film, which premiered on September 3, describes the most significant episodes of Ukraine’s resistance to the Russian air assault during the full-scale invasion and contains stunning footage of the downing of Russian warplanes, helicopters, missiles, and drones; unique testimonies of Ukrainian scouts, pilots, and servicemen from the air defense units, also telling stories of captured Russian pilots, the report says.
On August 23, military intelligence chief Kyrylo Budanov confirmed the completion of the special operation, in which the Russian Mi-8 combat helicopter with its entire crew crossed into Ukraine and surrendered to the Armed Forces. Thanks to the elaborately planned effort, the Russian pilot flew his Mi-8AMTSh helicopter, loaded with components for combat aircraft, into Ukrainian territory.