Fears Putin hit squad AT LARGE near Benidorm as ‘calling card’ found at murder scene of pilot ‘who made fatal error’

Fears Putin hit squad AT LARGE near Benidorm as ‘calling card’ found at murder scene of pilot ‘who made fatal error’

A RUSSIAN hit team are feared to be at large amid British holiday trippers after the sinister gun death of a Ukraine defector in Spain.

Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov, 28, who defected to Ukraine in his Mi8 helicopter was found riddled with bullets in a burned-out car just 10 miles from Benidorm.

Russian pilot Maxim Kuzminov, 28, was killed in Spaineast2west

ReutersA burned car allegedly used by the perpetrators of the murder of Kuzminov to escape the scene[/caption]

ReutersSpanish police investigate the garage where Kuzminov’s body[/caption]

Police sources have revealed that the ammunition used to kill him was distinctively Russian – a move believed to have been intended as a chilling “calling card.”

It is feared Kuzminov, who was living under a new identity, may have been killed by a Putin hit squad permanently based in Costa Blanca.

A report claims the same sinister secret services and mafia-linked cells were likely behind the slaying of a Russian family in Spain, one of the high-profile mysterious tycoon death cases linked to Putin’s war

Captain Maxim Kuzminov, 28, was shot dead in Spain on February 13 months after Moscow blasted him as a traitor.

His body was found in a garage in the coastal town of Villajoyosa in Alicante.

Spanish detectives said they are treating the murder as a “settling of scores” given that the victim was shot six times and then run over by a vehicle used by the killers, EFE reported.

It is believed he may have made a fatal error and given away his location after inviting his former girlfriend to visit him in Alicante.

The call could have been intercepted by Russian secret services, Spanish media reported.

Kuzminov had flown his Mi-8 helicopter over the frontline to defect to Ukraine in August, after which Russian secret services figures publicly threatened him with murder. 

The pilot was said to have been promised a £400,000 reward for surrendering to Ukraine and handing over the chopper.

He is understood to have used his new wealth to buy property at an estate agency with Russian links. 

Links have now been made between Kuzminov’s killing and the 2022 case of multimillionaire Sergey Protosenya.

The oligarch, 55, was found hanged after allegedly killing with an axe his wife Natalia, 53, and their teenage daughter, Maria, as they slept at their luxury villa on the Costa Brava.

Protosenya was a former deputy chairman of Novotek, a company closely linked to the Kremlin. 

Independent Telegram channel Volya – which monitors both sides in the war – claims both the Russian secret services and long-established mafia clans are active in Spain. 

Its report said: “The Russians have been living in Alicante, Altea, Benidorm and neighbouring small towns for two years now, providing security for cargo and ships, security of cash used for settlements, and escort of ‘export-import’ specialists coming from the Russian Federation, some of whom wear FSB shoulder straps, and some [GRU military intelligence].

“Among these people there are…professional killers or saboteurs. 

“It was they who killed the former top manager of Novatek Sergei Protosenya in the spring of 2022 in Lloret de Mar [a Catalan resort town].

“The murder of Protosenya, who was related to pre-war schemes for withdrawing funds from the Russian Federation in favour of the security forces of Putin’s inner circle…. was associated with the purge of personnel who knew a lot about the withdrawal of money to the EU and its legalisation there. 

“They tried to cover up that death as an alleged domestic murder.”

The report alleged that it was “staged” to appear that Protosenya had killed his family and then taken his life. 

The Volya report added: “But they did not disguise themselves with Kuzminov,” reported Volya.

“They promised to punish him – they punished.”

They were capable of hiring Spanish killers to do their dirty work, too, the report claimed.

It warned: “While European politicians are expressing concern about Navalny’s murder, Russian assassins and intelligence agencies are active and, unfortunately, successfully operating throughout Europe and other parts of the world.”

The Protosenya case is one of dozens of mysterious Russian deaths since the start of the war, many involving tycoons, some closely linked to the Kremlin and its favourite business empires.

Previously, Telegram channel Mozhem Obyasnit said that Protosenya – with a $440 million fortune –  was connected to  “Putin’s inner circle”.

Anonymous Spetsnaz special forces officers from Russia’s GRU military intelligence service were last year shown on Moscow state TV making clear an “order” had been given to liquidate Kuzminov.

State-run Rossiya 1 channel’s Vesti Nedeli channel told viewers in a chilling broadcast: “The order [to kill Captain Kuzminov] was received, its execution is a matter of time.” 

One Spetsnaz officer said: “We’ll find the man and punish him for betraying his brothers to the fullest extent of our country’s law.”

A second officer said: “ He will not live”

ReutersUkraine intelligence officers inspect a Russian helicopter which they say was handed over to Ukraine by Kuzminov[/caption]

APKuzminov during a press conference in Kyiv in September[/caption]

East2west NewsSergey Protosenya, 55, pictured with his wife Natalya, 53, daughter Maria, 18, and their teenage son[/caption]

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