Myth or man? Finally, Ukraine’s Air Force clears air about ‘Ghost of Kyiv’  

Since the beginning of the Russian invasion, ‘Ghost of Kyiv’, a Ukrainian fighter pilot, has won several hearts as a modern Red Baron. He has reportedly shot down many rival Russians out of the sky while flying a MiG-29 jet.  

But the truth about “Ghost of Kyiv” has been revealed by Ukraine’s Air Force.  

In a recent report, the “Ghost of Kyiv” was identified as Major Stepan Tarabalka and reported to have got killed in battle on March 13 when he was facing overwhelming number of enemy forces.  

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Stepan Tarabalka was born in Korolivka, which is a small village in western Ukraine. He also hailed from a working-class family and had always dreamt of becoming a fighter pilot since childhood, said the ‘The Times of London’ report.   

Major Tarabalka’s goggles and helmet were also going to be auctioned, as per media reports.  

These reports can’t be true as he never existed, as per Ukraine Air Force Command.  

So, the “Ghost of Kyiv” is a myth and not a man.  

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“Ghost of Kyiv is a superhero-legend, whose character was created by Ukrainians! This is rather a collective image of the pilots of the 40th Tactical Aviation Brigade defending the sky of the capital. Which suddenly appear where they are not expected,” the Ukrainian military said.  

Tarabalka was a “hero,” but he was “NOT ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ and he did NOT hit 40 planes,” Ukraine Air Force Command insisted.   

On Facebook, Ukraine Air Force Command said that he was “heroically killed in an air battle with the dominant forces of the Russian occupiers.”   

“The Ghost of Kyiv is alive and embodies a collective image of the highly qualified pilots of the tactical aviation brigade successfully defending Kyiv and the surrounding region,” said Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ignat.  


(With inputs from agencies)