How Ukraine’s ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ legendary pilot was born

Ukraine’s fighter pilots are vastly outnumbered by the Russians, and have become legendary – thanks in part to the story of an alleged flying ace called the “Ghost of Kyiv”.

This hero is said to have downed as many as 40 enemy planes – an incredible feat in an arena where Russia controls the skies.

But now the Ukraine Air Force Command has warned on Facebook that the “Ghost of Kyiv is a superhero-legend whose character was created by Ukrainians!”.

“We ask the Ukrainian community not to neglect the basic rules of information hygiene,” the message said, urging people to “check the sources of information, before spreading it”.

Earlier reports had named the ace as Major Stepan Tarabalka, 29. The authorities confirmed that he was killed in combat on 13 March and honoured with a Hero of Ukraine medal posthumously.

Now, the air force stresses that “Tarabalka is not ‘Ghost of Kiev’, and he did not hit 40 planes”.

It describes the “Ghost of Kyiv” as “a collective image of pilots of the Air Force’s 40th tactical aviation brigade, who defend the sky over the capital”, rather than a single man’s combat record.

For weeks, Ukrainians did not have a name to go with the “Ghost of Kyiv” – but that did not stop the story going viral on social media.

It was used as a marketing brand by a Ukrainian model aircraft manufacturer, while Ukrainian Iryna Kostyrenko showed off a military badge inspired by the legend.

And the defence ministry tweeted a video celebrating Tarabalka’s heroism.

Keep reading

Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: