MOSCOW, August 16. /TASS/. Russian pilot Sergey Sevastyanov who was captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan earlier this month and spent more than a week in detention has arrived in Moscow, a TASS correspondent has reported.
The pilot met with his wife, daughter and granddaughter at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport on Tuesday.
Sevastyanov, who works for an enterprise of the Russian Helicopters (part of the Rostec state corporation) thanked the representatives the holding for their assistance in releasing him.
"All the time when I was in captivity the Russian Helicopters was in close contact with the Afghan and Pakistani authorities. I know that in similar cases people had to spend much more time in detention," he said.
Sevastyanov was part of the crew of the Mi-17 helicopter owned by the government of Pakistan’s Punjab province. The helicopter was heading to Russia via Afghanistan on August 4 for maintenance. During the flight over the restive province of Logar the helicopter was hit by fire opened by the Taliban militants and made an emergency landing in the Mati area of the Azra district. No one of six crew members was hurt but they were captured by the militants.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry said on August 13 all crew members were handed over to Pakistan’s side. On the same day, Sevastyanov was transferred to the Russian embassy in Pakistan and stayed on the territory of the diplomatic mission until August 16.