Russian Mi-8 helicopter pilot Maksim Kuzminov, 28, is to receive a US$500,000 reward in hryvnias, the national currency of Ukraine. Ukrainian Intelligence is urging other Russians to follow his example.
Source: Andrii Yusov, a representative of Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence, on the 24/7 newscast
Quote: "[He will receive it] in the national currency, of course. There is an official law, signed by the President of Ukraine in April 2022, on appropriate compensation when a person switches to Ukraine’s side and brings [Russian] equipment with them.
Ukraine is a democratic constitutional state, we deliver on our commitments and we adhere to international law. So, once again – those Russians who do not want to become war criminals, please give yourselves up, switch to Ukraine’s side, protect your own dignity and conscience, and fight against Putin’s regime."
- On 23 August it was revealed that a Mi-8 helicopter of the Russian Armed Forces had ended up in Ukraine as a result of a long-term special operation by Ukraine’s Defence Intelligence.
- The pilot and his family are in Ukraine, his family having left Russia in advance. The Mi-8 has stayed in Ukraine, as have the fighter jet components it was supposed to be delivering to the Russians.
- Kuzminov revealed new details of the special operation at a press conference on 5 September, saying that he first heard about the possibility of surrendering with the helicopter from the police. Then Defence Intelligence got involved in the operation.