THE LEGENDARY Ghost of Kyiv fighter pilot was killed in combat after Ukraine claimed he shot down 40 Russian fighter jets.
The brave fighter became popular at the start of Putin’s invasion when the Ukrainian military shared a picture of him claiming he shot down ten Russian jets.
The 29-year-old father of a major, Stepan Tarabalka, was killed on March 13 while fighting “overwhelming” enemy forces, the Times reported.
Ukrainian sources confirmed the identity and his death, adding that they expected his helmet and goggles to be put up for sale at an auction in London.
The 29-year-old from the village of Korolivka in western Ukraine left behind his wife Olenia and their eight-year-old son Yarik.
He was posthumously awarded Ukraine’s highest medal for bravery in battle, the Order of the Golden Star, with the title of Hero of Ukraine.
Back in March, the Ukrainian military shared a snap showing a person wearing an oxygen mask in the cockpit of a MiG-29 fighter jet with the caption, “Hello, occupiers, I’m coming for your soul!”
The so-called Ghost of Kyiv became a symbol of resistance in the face of Vladimir Putin’s invasion after Ukrainian government officials spread macho propaganda about the masked pilot who appeared to be shooting down enemy planes.
The footage allegedly showed the MiG-29 jet soaring through the air before destroying six Kremlin planes on the first day Putin started his war.
The official account of the Ukrainian government published the 38-second clip on its social media back on February 27, writing: “People call it the ghost of Kyiv.
“And rightly so – dominating the skies over our capital and country, this UAF ace has already become a nightmare for invading Russian planes.”
The footage begins with a cartoon model of the plane before moving on to debunked footage of a wrecked Russian jet.
Text then appears on the video stating: “Ukraine probably got their first ace since World War II. This is the anonymous pilot of the MiG-29, nicknamed the Ghost of Kyiv.
“In the first 30 hours of the Russian invasion in February 2022, he shot down six Russian military planes.
“From February 26 – 10 military aircraft of the occupiers. To become an ace pilot you need to shoot down five planes. And the Ghost of Kyiv shot twice as many.”
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https://www.the-sun.com/news/5230236/legendary-ghost-kyiv-fighter-pilot-killed-battle/ Legendary Ghost of Kyiv fighter pilot is KILLED in combat after Ukraine claims hero shot down 40 Russian fighter jets