Ever since the beginning of what is now being called the “Second Russo-Ukrainian War” on February 14th, 2022, many tales of bravery and valour have come up, most of which have been shrouded in mystery. One of these mystical stories is one of the Ukrainian fighter pilots known as the “Ghost of Kiev”, having reportedly become a flying ace within a single day of fighting. However, many do challenges that most of the claims made are baseless, and that there is little concrete evidence proving that there even is a “Ghost of Kiev”.
What is a flying ace?
An ace, in aviation, is a pilot that manages to shoot down 5 or more enemy aircraft, and is considered to be one of the highest honours in military aviation.
If the “Ghost of Kiev’s” claims are proven to be true, he will be the first flying ace in over 25 years, the first flying ace in Europe since WWII, and the first “Ace in a day” in over 50 years.
How credible are his claims?
There is much doubt surrounding the “Ghost of Kiev” and the credibility of his claims aviation experts believe that it is unlikely a single pilot could have downed 6 aircrafts in a single night.
The fact that there is no concrete evidence of any of his feats must also be taken into account when talking about the validity of these claims. All videos posted on the internet that claimed to prove the “Ghost’s” existence have turned out to be fake, taken from simulators,video games, and/or old footage of other fighter jets.
Below you will find a YouTube video of a “Dogfight” simulation, or fight between planes in DCS, that was used in many social media posts claiming to show the “Ghost” in Action:
However, this doesn’t mean he’s inexistent - just that there isn’t any evidence linking a single pilot to the destruction of multiple Russian planes. The real Ghost of Kiev might be out there, just waiting to be discovered.
Could the “Ghost of Kiev” be Ukrainian War Propaganda?
There have been multiple instances of soldiers being overly glorified by the countries they fight for, as to improve the morale of civilians and of those fighting on the front lines. The “Red Baron” is a great example of this, a flying ace that became a German national hero after an intense marketing campaign conducted by the German Empire.
The Ukrainian Government has also been pushing the narrative of the “Ghost of Kiev” very profusely while refusing to confirm officially whether he is real or not, and whether he truly is a flying ace.
This image was posted to the Ukrainian Government’s official Twitter pages, captioned:
In the photo - the MiG-29 pilot. The same "Ghost of Kiev".
It causes terror in enemies and pride in Ukrainians
He has 6 victories over Russian pilots!
With such powerful defenders, Ukraine will definitely win!
The Ukrainian army also posted the following picture:
Captioned - "'Hello, Russian villain, I'm coming for your soul!' - the Ghost of Kyiv,"
Regardless of whether the “Ghost of Kiev” is real or not, he brings inspiration to the hearts of the Ukrainian people and stands as a blazing symbol of Ukrainian resistance to Russian Aggression.
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