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Russian War | Ukraine revealed the truth about the “Ghost of kyiv”, the alleged pilot who shot down 40 Russian planes | Vladimir Putin | Volodymyr Zelensky | WORLD

On social media, the “Ghost of kyiv” was a military hero, a flying ace acclaimed for allegedly shooting down multiple Russian planes. The stories began a few days after the start of the war and circulated for months, reinforced by the official versions ukrainian.

But authorities admitted on Saturday that the legendary driver was nothing more than a myth.

LOOK: How the “Ghost of kyiv” was born, the legend about a Ukrainian pilot

“The Ghost of kyiv is a legendary superhero created by the Ukrainians!”the Air Force said in a Ukrainian-language message on Facebook.

The statement came after various outlets published stories misidentifying Commander Stepan Tarabalka as the person behind the legend. Tarabalka was a royal pilot who died on March 13 during a dogfight and was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine, the Air Force explained last month.

But It wasn’t the Ghost of kyiv.according to its statement on Saturday.

“The information about the death of the Ghost of kyiv is incorrect,” the Air Force wrote in another Twitter post that day. “The Ghost Of kyiv is alive, it embodies the collective spirit of the highly skilled pilots of the Tactical Aviation Brigade who are successfully defending kyiv and the region.”

The legend began the day after Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.when social media users began to spread accounts, without evidence, of an anonymous pilot who had shot down several Russian planes single-handedly.

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Memes, unrelated photos and even images from a flight simulation video game circulated on the networks claiming to show the Phantom of kyiv in combat.

On February 25, former President Petro Poroshenko tweeted a photo shared three years earlier by Ukraine’s Defense Ministry falsely claiming it showed the skilled pilot had shot down six enemy aircraft.

Two days later, Ukraine’s official Twitter account shared a video containing the same photo, with images of fighter jets in action, epic music, and the caption: “People call him the Ghost of kyiv. And rightly so: this FAU ace dominates the skies over our capital and the country, and has already become a nightmare for the invading Russian planes.”

On February 27 Ukraine called the "ghost of kyiv" an "Angel" for shooting down 10 Russian planes.  (SBU).
On February 27 Ukraine called the “Ghost of kyiv” an “angel” for shooting down 10 Russian planes. (SBU).

On the same day, the Ukrainian Security Service shared the same old photo on Telegram, this time claiming that it had shot down 10 Russian forces planes.

By the time the media, including the Times of London, misidentified the pilot as Tarabalka on Friday, reports had put his feat at 40 aircraft. The Times later updated its reporting to reflect the Air Force’s new stance on the Ghost of kyiv.

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