The Russian pilot who defected to Ukraine with a Mi-8 helicopter and fighter-jet parts spoke publicly for the first time this week about how he pulled off his daring escape.

Ukraine’s Defense Intelligence published an interview with a man it said was the Russian pilot who landed a Mi-8 AMTSh on a Ukrainian air base last month — in what officials said was the culmination of a six-month secret defection plot that involved moving the pilot’s family out of Russia and into Ukraine.

The Ukrainian defense agency identified the pilot as Maksym Kuzminov, a 28-year-old former captain in Russia’s 319th separate helicopter regiment. Insider was unable to independently confirm the man’s identity, but Agenstvo, an independent Russian Telegram channel, said it found Kuzminov’s social-media profile, which suggested his identity as an attack pilot in the Eastern Military District.