A Ukrainian official said that the willingness of Russians to defect has increased thanks to the Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine.
According to the American media outlet Insider on the 12th (local time), Andriy Yusov, spokesman for the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Service ( HUR ), said this in an interview with his country’s Radio Svoboda the previous day.
Yusow said the number of daily calls to the hotline of Hochuzyty (I Want to Live), a national project aimed at encouraging Russians to seek asylum in Ukraine, has increased by 70 percent. He explained that,
in addition to Project Hochugiti’s hotline, there has been a significant increase in asylum applications through other means of communication, adding, “ After the successful death of the Mi-8 helicopter pilot, the number of Russian soldiers considering this scenario has increased.” However, it did not mention how many there were.
Captain Maxim Kuzminov (28), a Mi-8 helicopter pilot and commander of the 319th Helicopter Regiment of the Russian Army Aviation Corps, defected to Ukraine on the 9th of last month with his helicopter and its fighter jet parts. This is the result of an operation code-named ‘Synytsia’ (Chickadee) that the Ukrainian Defense Intelligence Agency worked hard on for over half a year to bring not only him and his helicopter, but also his family, his parents, to Ukraine .
Kuzminov realized that the war in Ukraine was a genocide not only for Ukrainians but also for all Russians, so he decided to go into exile and contacted Ukraine first.
He had prepared for his exile with promises of security and compensation for himself and his parents. The parents, who supported the asylum plan, had first secretly left Russia and moved to Ukraine.
He was flying a helicopter that regularly transported parts for Russian MIG fighter jets, but during a mission at the time, he turned toward Ukraine. Two of his men were on board his helicopter, but they were unaware of it until they crossed the border and came under fire from Russian forces. Moreover, they were all unarmed, and no one except him, the pilot, had the skills to fly the helicopter, so they could not fight back until it landed.
Kuzminov, who was shot in the arm and leg by sudden Russian fire, held the control stick tightly and looked at his men, saying, “Everything is fine. “Good people live here and nothing will happen,” he reassured. So he moved the helicopter about 20 km further and landed it at a location pre-arranged with the Ukrainian authorities.
However, fearing retaliation from the Russian military, his subordinates attacked him when the helicopter landed, saying they would return to Russia. He eventually got off the helicopter and attempted to escape toward the Russian border, but was reportedly shot and killed.
Kuzminov received 500,000 dollars (about 667 million won) worth of Ukrainian money (about 18.48 million hryvnia) as compensation for his exile스포츠토토. Previously, as part of Project Hochuzyty, Ukraine’s parliament passed a bill in April last year to provide financial compensation to exiled soldiers who brought Russian military equipment to Ukraine. The size of the compensation varies depending on the type of equipment, such as $1 million for a fighter jet and $500,000 for a helicopter.
Meanwhile, the Hochujiti Hotline was opened in September last year just before Russia announced that it would mobilize large numbers of reserve forces, and operates through direct phone calls and Telegram. Russia’s Supervisory Authority for Communications, Information Technology and Mass Communication (Roskomnadzor) announced that it had blocked access to the site in mid-October last year, and the Kiev Independent reported at the time that the number of applications had been more than 2,000 by then.
However, Russian soldiers have continued to express their intention to defect to the Hotline hotline through bypass connections. As of last March, approximately 10,000 Russian soldiers had applied for this project, the Ukrainian government agency ‘Prisoners of War Treatment Coordination Center’ said in a press release at the time. According to this, despite regular attempts by Russian organizations to block access, the site was visited by more than 14 million people, 84% of whom were from Russian territory.
Ukraine is constantly operating a hotline and chatbot for Russian soldiers who want to surrender to their country. Once 10 counselors receive and process the application, experts from Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence Service begin to cooperate.
There are also cases where families or lovers of Russian soldiers contact the hotline. This is because there are many cases where Russian soldiers are unable to access the internet or communications after being mobilized for the war in Ukraine.
The detention of prisoners of war who voluntarily surrendered through this project is carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva Convention. Depending on their will, these prisoners can return to their home country through exchange or seek asylum in Ukraine and some European Union ( EU ) countries.