Ukraine Confesses That the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ Does Not Exist.

Ghost of Kyiv

“Ghost of Kyiv is a superhero tale whose persona was developed by Ukrainians!” stated the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Air Force Command in a Facebook post.

The “Ghost of Kyiv,” mythology from the Russia Ukraine war kyiv about an ace Ukrainian pilot who scored several dogfights kills, does not exist, according to the Ukrainian air force on Saturday.

The Kyiv Ghost is an urban legend.

“Ghost of Kyiv is a superhero tale whose persona was developed by Ukrainians!” stated the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ Air Force Command in a Facebook post.

The air force also disputed widespread online reports that Major Stephan Tarabalka was the Kyiv ghost and had shot down 40 Russian planes. Tarabalka was named a Hero of Ukraine posthumously by the Ukrainian government. On March 13, the pilot was killed in combat.

The threat of disinformation

The air force advised checking information sources and only using approved ones. However, early in the conflict, official Ukrainian publications popularised the idea of the Ghost of Kyiv dead.

On the second day of the war, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry teased the existence of the legendary pilot, saying that “dozens of experienced military pilots from captain to general who were previously expelled from the army in reserve are going to return to the air force,” and that “who knows, maybe one of them is that air avenger in the MIG-29.”

Also, on February 25, former Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko published a photograph purporting to be of the Ghost of Kyiv, albeit the photograph was later proven to be an older one from 2019.

“It frightens opponents and makes Ukrainians proud,” Poroshenko tweeted. “He’s beaten Russian pilots six times! Ukraine will undoubtedly win with such formidable defenders!”

Poroshenko was not the only one who shared bogus photographs of the iconic person. In the early days of the battle, videos and doctored photos of the Ghost of Kyiv were widely distributed on social media.

A YouTube video of video game flight simulator footage was extensively circulated as evidence of the Ghost of Kyiv. Taking advantage of the enthusiasm about the identity of the Ghost of Kyiv, Internet pranksters altered a photograph of comedian Sam Hyde. They claimed he was the Ghost of Kyiv, following a long-running meme alleging Hyde is responsible for several violent occurrences. The photo duped US Republican congressman Adam Kinzinger, who wished the fictitious pilot “Samuyil Hyde” continuing success fighting Russian air forces.

Ukrainian resistance symbols

The Ghost of Kyiv is considered a symbol of Ukrainian defiance against Russian military ambitions and the importance of communication and propaganda during combat.

Early in the conflict, the capture of Snake Island and the final stand of Ukrainian forces stationed there became a symbol of Ukrainian resistance, inspiring the now-famous slogan “Russian warship, go F**k yourselves.” It was eventually found that the troops had been captured by Russian naval forces rather than killed in action.