War Story: Ukraine Admits Famed 'Ghost Of Kiev' Pilot Was A PR Stunt To Boost Morale

Written By BlabberBuzz | Wednesday, 04 May 2022 20:30
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The “Ghost of Kyiv” is a myth, Ukrainian officials revealed over the weekend.

After several news outlets last week recognized the legendary, mysterious, hero fighter pilot as a 29-year-old dad recently slain in battle with the Russians, military officials confessed on Saturday that there was no such person.

“The ghost of Kyiv is a superhero-legend, whose character was created by Ukrainians!” Ukraine’s Air Force Command posted on Facebook.

The honorable hero had been credited with taking out as many as 40 Russian aircraft until he was fired down on March 13 while combating an “overwhelming” number of enemy forces, the Times of London had informed.

The Times recognized the supposed Ukrainian war hero as Major Stepan Tarabalka.

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But while Tarabalka was a prominent war hero, he was not the “Ghost” — because there never was such a person, Ukraine declared.

“Hero of Ukraine Stepan Tarabalka is NOT ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ and he did NOT shoot down 40 planes,” the country’s Air Force Command stated.

Instead, the moniker belongs collectively to all of Ukraine’s hero fighter pilots, military officials expressed.

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“The #GhostOfKyiv is alive. It embodies the collective spirit of the highly trained pilots of the Tactical Aviation Brigade who are successfully protecting #Kyiv and the region,” the command tweeted on Twitter.

The Ukrainian government had formerly been key in creating and perpetuating the myth of a single courageous and particularly on-target fighter pilot.

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The legend emerged just a day after Russia swarmed Ukraine on Feb. 24, as social media users began to leak claims, without evidence, of an anonymous fighter pilot who had single-handedly taken down multiple Russian planes.

“People call him the Ghost of Kyiv. And rightly so,” the government tweeted in February of the respected mysterious figure, saying the pilot had “already become a nightmare for invading Russian aircraft.” Memes, irrelevant photos, and even footage from a flight simulator video game circulated on social media, claiming to show the Ghost of Kyiv during combat.

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On Feb. 25, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko tweeted a photo on Twitter that Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense had shared three years earlier, falsely declaring it showed the Ghost of Kyiv who had shot down six Russian pilots.

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Two days later, Ukraine’s official Twitter account posted a video including the same picture, along with footage of fighter jets in combat, set to pulsating music, with the caption: “People call him the Ghost of Kyiv. And rightly so — this UAF ace dominates the skies over our capital and country, and has already become a nightmare for invading Russian aircraft.”

But many people doubted whether the “Ghost” was real, as a video purporting to be evidence of the fighter turned out to instead be from a video game.

Some remarked that the reported folk hero and his MiG-29 Fulcrum would not have the ammunition capacity to carry out the attacks he was credited with.

Still, many people were keen to celebrate the mysterious purported pilot.

“True or not, this is EXACTLY the kind of inspiring story the resistance needs right now,” a user wrote on Twitter.

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