More Details Emerge About Russian Defector Who Stole Mi-8

Ukrainian military authorities have disclosed the alleged details of a defection by the pilot of a Russian Mi-8 helicopter. His fellow crewmembers had no idea of his plan.

According to Kyrylo Budanov, head of military intelligence in Kyiv, the documentary Downed Russian Pilots will broadcast in Ukraine on Sunday, providing further information regarding the claimed defection.

The director of the documentary series Military Intelligence of Ukraine, Artem Shevchenko, was quoted in Pravda as saying that the operation was identical to the Israeli Mossad operation Diamond from 1996, in which an Iraqi pilot was convinced to take the most modern MIG-21n fighter plane at the time.

Budanov’s interview with the Ukrainian news site Pravda was agreed to when the pilot’s family was offered safe passage out of Russia.

They could transfer his whole family discreetly out of Russia and eventually create a situation where he could move this aircraft with the crew without them knowing what was going on, according to Budanov.

When the other crew members realized where they had landed, they made a break for it. They met an untimely end. Budanov said while live capture would have been preferable, it “is what it is.”

The prolonged conflict has severely impacted Russia’s military, and authorities in the United Kingdom have concluded that this has prompted Moscow to pursue unconventional strategies.

British Defense Ministry claims Russia has been appealing to people of surrounding countries with recruiting advertising for persons to fight Ukraine.

According to reports, the pitch has been focused on the former Soviet republics of Armenia and Kazakhstan since June of this year.
Both sides have sustained heavy casualties throughout the 18-month struggle, but Russian leaders have hesitated to order a full-scale mobilization to increase army numbers.

As of the middle of September of last year, the Kremlin claimed that some 300,000 reservists had been called up due to a partial mobilization, but the government has not initiated a comparable conscription effort since then.