Rumors of an unnamed Ukrainian pilot fighter known as the “Ghost of Kyiv” have started to circulate online, however, there is little evidence that he exists. Many people, including some close to the Ukrainian administration, have jumped on rumors that the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ shot down six Russian planes on the first day of the conflict, but experts warn that there is a substantial lack of evidence to support these claims.
Who is Ghost of Kyiv?
Lately, there has been a surge in public interest in the Ghost of Kyiv. The internet is full of searches related to the Ghost of Kyiv. So who is the Ghost of Kyiv? Let’s find out.
The Ghost of Kyiv is the nickname given to an unconfirmed MiG-29 Fulcrum pilot who is credited with shooting down six Russian jets during the Kyiv offensive on February 24, 2022. As of February 27, he had shot down ten Russian jets, according to Ukraine’s Security Service.
The Ghost of Kyiv is the nickname given to an unconfirmed MiG-29 Fulcrum pilot who is credited with shooting down six Russian jets during the Kyiv offensive on February 24, 2022. Photo Source: YouTube
Videos showing fighter jets in Ukraine began extensively circulating on social media on the first day of the Russian invasion in February 2022, shortly after the invasion began, claiming a single pilot who brought down multiple Russian jets. A potential or legendary in-29 pilot, dubbed the “Ghost of Kyiv” by the Ukrainian population, allegedly won six air battles over Kyiv within the first 30 hours of the invasion. Two Su-35s, two Su-25s, a Su-27, and a G-29 are among the six planes. If the ace exists, he or she will be the first recorded fighter ace of the twenty-first century, as well as an Ace in a Day.
According to the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence, if the downings are confirmed, the Ghost of Kyiv might be one of the scores of skilled military reserve pilots who rushed back to the Armed Forces of Ukraine after Russia invaded. In a tweet, it referred to the Ghost of Kyiv as “the air avenger.” However, according to Ukrainian commander-in-chief Valerii Zaluzhnyi, he could only confirm six Russian jets were down on the first day of action in Ukraine, though there could have been more.
The Ghost of Kyiv has been credited for boosting Ukrainian morale in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022. The urban legend was most likely not created on purpose, with stories disseminated by ordinary Ukrainians on social media before official Ukrainian media accounts alluded to the pilot in a regular update.
Is the Ghost of Kyiv Real?
Since Russian forces launched a “full-fledged invasion” of neighboring Ukraine, there has been extensive coverage on social media, with particular focus on a supposed Ukrainian fighter pilot dubbed “The Ghost of Kyiv.” According to unsubstantiated accounts, the mystery pilot earned this moniker after allegedly shooting down six Russian planes from his MiG-29 in the country’s Luhansk region in a single day. So is it real?
There is a significant dearth of evidence that the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ exists, and experts are skeptical that six hits in one day are conceivable. The stated toll would account for all but one of the Russian planes confirmed downed by the Ukrainian military on the first day of the assault, however, further losses may have gone undetected.
Aviation experts noted that the purported exploits of the “Ghost of Kyiv” remained unproven, and the achievement of a single pilot shooting down six enemy aircraft in a single day is unheard of in the contemporary period. Photo Source: YouTube
The pilot, on the other hand, has yet to be identified. Poroshenko’s tweet is thought to be an attempt to boost public morale rather than confirm the existence of a mysterious pilot. Meanwhile, fact-checkers have examined some of the viral films and determined that part of the material purporting to show the “Ghost of Kyiv” is not genuine.
However, aviation experts noted that the purported exploits of the “Ghost of Kyiv” remained unproven, and the achievement of a single pilot shooting down six enemy aircraft in a single day is unheard of in the contemporary period. According to military aviation legend, any pilot who has shot down five or more enemy planes can call himself an “ace.”
So yet, no proof has been found to support the existence of the “Ghost of Kyiv.” However, the photographs and videos have kept Ukrainians’ hopes alive amid Russia’s continuous military activities within Ukraine. Despite these allegations, Russian troops are currently moving in on Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, after seizing control of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant.
Furthermore, the clip purportedly showing the fighter pilot flying over Kyiv was discredited by the internet fact-checking website Snopes, which discovered it was generated with Digital Combat Simulator a computer game initially released in 2008.
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