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Who is the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’? Story of Ukrainian ace pilot goes viral


Unconfirmed reports of an ace Ukrainian fighter pilot have gone viral, with social media users dubbing the fighter the “Ghost of Kyiv.”

Supposedly downing as many as six Russian planes in the first day of combat, the Ghost of Kyiv — and their MiG-29 Fulcrum — quickly became a folk hero in a war breathlessly watched online.

According to one widely circulated post, the Ghost of Kyiv is believed to have shot down four Russian fighter jets — two Su-35 Flankers, one Su-27 Flanker and one MiG-29 Fulcrum — as well as two ground-attack aircraft, so-called Su-25 Frogfoots.

The reports remain unconfirmed by Ukrainian officials — and the war remains rife with misinformation and propaganda.

As one Twitter user pointed out, such a kill count would stretch the ammunition capacity of the Soviet-era MiG-29.

MIG-29 fighter aircrafts fly at a military air base in Vasylkiv, Ukraine
A Ukrainian MiG-29 pilot is believed to have shot down four Russian fighter jets as well as two ground-attack aircraft.
REUTERS/Gleb Garanich
Soldiers look at the debris of a military plane that was shot down overnight in Kiev, Ukraine, 25 February 2022.
Soldiers look at the debris of a military plane that was shot down overnight in Kyiv, Ukraine, on Feb. 25, 2022.
EPA
russia-ukraine crisis map
Russia continued its attack on Ukraine on Feb. 25, 2022.

Regardless, many on social media argued the legend of an ace fighter pilot holding off the Russian advance was useful in its own right.

“True or not, this is EXACTLY the kind of inspiring story the resistance needs right now,” one user said.


Get the latest updates in the Russia-Ukraine conflict with the Post’s live coverage.


Ukrainian officials said Thursday their forces had downed seven Russian planes in total, along with six Russian helicopters.



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