In February 2022, after Russia launched an unprovoked attack on Ukraine, rumors started circulating about a Ukrainian fighter pilot dubbed the “Ghost of Kyiv” who had supposedly shot down multiple Russian fighter jets. As these rumors circulated, so did a miscaptioned video supposedly showing the Ghost of Kyiv in action:
Ukrainian pilot who is 6-0 shoots down a Russian Su-35 with his Mig-29. He’s been nicknamed the ghost of Kyiv, and is the first pilot since WW2 to achieve ace status! pic.twitter.com/WsoadzLrdQ
— Olegi21 ???? (@ItsOlegi21) February 25, 2022
This is not a genuine video of the Ghost of Kyiv. This video was created with Digital Combat Simulator, a simulation game that was first released in 2008.
The video was originally posted to YouTube by “Comrade_Corb.” The original caption identified this clip as a simulation and noted that it was created as an homage to the Ghost of Kyiv.
This footage is from DCS, but is nevertheless made out of respect for “The Ghost of Kiev.” If he is real, may God be with him; if he is fake, I pray for more like “him.”
Here’s the original video:
When this video was posted to other social media sites, it was miscaptioned as genuine footage of the Ghost of Kyiv.
While this video does not feature genuine footage, the general of the Ukrainian armed forces claimed that they had truly downed several Russian aircraft. CNN reported:
The General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces has claimed five Russian aircraft and a helicopter were shot down early Thursday, as Russian forces attacked Ukraine.
The Russian military has denied the claims, state news agency TASS reported on Thursday.
MSN. https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/ghost-of-kyiv-unconfirmed-ukrainian-mig-29-pilot-credited-with-six-kills/ar-AAUhk0Z?ocid=winp-st. Accessed 25 Feb. 2022.
NATO. “NATO Secretary General Statement on Russia’s Unprovoked Attack on Ukraine.” NATO, https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/news_192401.htm. Accessed 25 Feb. 2022.
“Ukraine Armed Forces Say 5 Russian Aircraft and a Helicopter Shot Down.” CNN, 23 Feb. 2022, https://www.cnn.com/europe/live-news/ukraine-russia-news-02-23-22/h_27962509959744eadb2726026b5bde2a.