“Ghost of Kiev”. The man who shot down 40 Russian planes is a myth

One day after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the country’s media began to refer to an unidentified pilot. It would have shot down six enemy planes in just 30 hoursIn the MIG-29 fighter aircraft.

After a while, charts and videos Hashtag “Ghost of Kiev”. Former President of Ukraine Pedro Poroshenko also shared a photo of a pilot known as the Phantom of Kiev, adding to his “six victories over Russian pilots”.

Even in February, the Ukrainian government helped spread the word, released a video of the unknown pilot and praised him for “invading the Russian plane.” “People call him the ghost of Kiev. Exactly, this ace dominates the skies of our capital and our country.Wrote the administrator of Volodymyr Zhelensky.

In early March, former Ukrainian lawmaker Ihor Mosiychuk added the rumor on social media that the pilot had survived, returned to the site, and returned to fly to shoot down enemy aircraft. After a while, the newspaper Kiev Post Wrote Kiev Coast has destroyed at least 49 Russian planes.

However, it has now been confirmed that the figure admired by the Ukrainians is nothing more than a myth. The photo, released by Poroshenko, was released by the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense in 2019, and the video shared by the government is a video of the warplane simulator.

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“Kiev Coast is a superhero and a legend created by the Ukrainians”, Sure, on FacebookThe Ukrainian Air Force has denied the rumor.

“We need this campaign in times of war”
This has been clarified after several international dailies, including the British Times of London, Kiev Coast soldier Stephen Tarapalka has been identified as a 29-year-old man who died. In the air war between Ukraine and Russia last March.

The denial confirms that the Ukrainian campaign to increase morale is not only in the context of physical war, but also the information war between the two neighbors.

“Ukrainian hero Stephen Tarapalka is not an indirect member of Kiev, did not hit 40 planes”The Ukrainian Air Force wrote in the same Facebook post, “On March 13, Tarabalka was martyred in an air battle with the Russian occupying forces.”

“Once again, we urge the Ukrainian community not to ignore the basic rules for sharing information and to verify the evidence before releasing it,” officials said.

On Twitter, the Air Force added, “Information about the death of Pantom of Kiev is incorrect.” “Kiev’s Phantom is alive, embodying the collective sense of the most talented pilots Tactical air force successfully defending the Kiev region, ”he stressed.

Ukrainian military historian Mikhail Zhirohov speaking to the BBC Explained It is practically impossible for a pilot to shoot down four dozen planes. “Only two or three can be dropped”He recalled that Russia had dominated Ukrainian airspace at the start of the war.

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However, the expert argued that “this campaign is necessary because our armed forces are small and many believe they can not compare with Russia.”

“We need it in times of war”He praised the creation of a ghost that became a symbol of the Ukrainian opposition.

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