Noticed yesterday Ukraine was putting this lie to bed. So they assigned a deceased person with the label of mythical human/super hero in order to give a tidy ending to a completely bogus claim.
The Ghost of Kyiv, real name Stepan Tarabalka, died in the cockpit of his trusty MiG on March 14, The Times reported.
“The information about the death of the Ghost of Kyiv is incorrect,” the air force tweeted. “The Ghost of Kyiv is alive, it embodies the collective spirit of the highly qualified pilots of the tactical aviation brigade who are successfully defending Kyiv and the region.”
“Ghost of Kyiv is a superhero legend whose character was created by Ukrainians!” the air force added on Facebook.
The Ghost, in other words, is an idea. Not a MiG pilot named Tarabalka who singlehandedly shot down twice as many planes as outside analysts can confirm Moscow has lost in more than two months of bitter fighting.
Tarabalka, who reportedly was 29 at the time of his death, reportedly was a real person. But he did not shoot down 40 Russian planes. Leaving aside the air force’s denials, there’s simply no evidence.
Just one problem. The Ghost of Kyiv legend isn’t true. Even the Ukrainian air force, which once sort of embraced the tale, admitted so after The Times’ baseless story on the Ghost’s demise went viral on Saturday.
Shortly after the Russian invasion began, unconfirmed rumors spread widely across the internet of a mysterious Ukrainian fighter pilot in a MiG-29 gunning down six enemy aircraft within the first hours of the war.
The unknown military hero, dubbed “The Ghost of Kyiv” on social media, had been taking to the skies since the invasion started and allegedly reached 21 confirmed Russian aircraft kills as of Wednesday, making the pilot the first supposed flying ace of the 21st century.
“The Ghost of Kyiv,” however, is almost certainly a myth, albeit an incredibly useful one as Ukraine tries to rally its citizens to resist Russian conquest.
The majority of the videos and photos of a MiG-29 dogfighting shared on social media have been proven by fact checkers and researchers to be old, outdated and, in one instance, repurposed footage from a popular video game flight simulator.
Peter Singer, an American political scientist and author of “LikeWar: The Weaponization of Social Media,” told Military.com that “The Ghost of Kyiv” is the latest example of how governments rely on hero narratives to inspire bravery and boost morale when they’re being oppressed.
Hero narratives are used for all sorts of reasons
“It’s a very classic human need to find and search for heroes amidst tales of horror,” Singer said. “It’s something the governments involved need to generate and push.”
“Ukraine acknowledges that the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ is a myth“
Your perception managed. Always.