The first European Ace since World War II- “Ghost of Kyiv”- Fact or Myth?

As the Russian troops advance towards Ukraine from several directions, laying siege to the nation’s capital-Kyiv, Ukrainians are hanging on to dear life for every bit of good news they can grab hold of.

Just when all hopes seem lost, comes a ray of hope, almost out of movie-the news of the ‘Ghost of Kyiv”

BGR | Representative

Since Thursday, digital whispers of a lone airborne hero among the Ukrainian resistance, have been doing the rounds. Although his name and history are deeply shrouded in mystery, many are calling the pilot the “first European Ace since World War II”.

With no real confirmation of its existence, who or what is the “Ghost of Kyiv?

The Ukrainian Mig-29 “Ghost of Kyiv”

The Ghost of Kyiv is an urban legend as the nickname given to an unconfirmed Mig-29 Fulcrum flying ace, who is credited with shooting down six Russian planes in the Kyiv Offensive on 24 February 2022.

MIG-29 fighter aircraft fly at a military airbase in Vasylkiv, Ukraine | REUTERS/Gleb Garanich

According to one social media post, the Ghost of Kyiv supposedly 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.

Story of Ukrainian Ace pilot goes viral | Representative | New York Post

Furthermore, news started pouring in claiming the “Ghost” had brought down another four helicopters and a Russian Ilyushin II-76 that was carrying a landing force near Vasilkyv in the south of Kyiv.

In what can be termed as one of the most turbulent times in Ukrainian history, this “mystery pilot”, is supposedly active in the air and defending the country’s airspace, looking to expand the list of aerial kills on his fighter resume.

Is he/she for real? Or is it, as it always later turns out to be, just another social media hype?

The “Ghost of Kyiv”- fact or myth?

Ever since the news of the “Ghost” broke the internet, people have been going bonkers with many not believing it to be real.

Here’s one of the first three tweets from the internet which mentioned the “Ghost of Kyiv” for the very first time:

The multiple videos available online were re-tweeted innumerable times, only adding fuel to the “most modern urban Russian Invasion” folklore.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense also appeared to chime in posting footage of a Mig-29 downing a Russian fighter, which ultimately proved to be a page out of a flight simulation software.

It is also to be noted that Former president Petro Poroshenko, had uploaded a picture of the heroic pilot who downed 6 aircraft from the Russian Government on Thursday, February 24- which further led to the speculation that the urban legend indeed might be true.

Ghost of Kyiv | President Petro Poroshenko’s Twitter account

It is uncommon for modern warfare dogfights to result in air-to-air kills. The most recent one was that of a shootdown of an ​​Armenian SU-25 warplane by a Turkish F-16 fighter jet amid clashes between Azerbaijan and ethnic Armenian forces over breakaway territory Nagorno-Karabakh in September 2020.

Regardless, these “legendary” stories have come up at a time when the Ukrainians need the much-required hope and motivation to resist the Russian clampdown.

Although in all likelihood, this just might be a work of fiction, as people’s imaginations run wild. Nevertheless, the “Ghost of Kyiv- heroic pilot of a Ukrainian MiG-29” becomes the first air combat ace- Military folklore over European soil since World War II. 

Did you know? A flying acefighter ace or air ace is a military aviator, credited with shooting down five or more enemy aircraft during aerial combat.

Do you think the “Ghost of Kyiv” really exists? Or is it just another urban legend hype up by the media to play mind games with the enemy, which of course, plays a crucial factor with regards to escalating tensions?

Let us know.


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