Military Aviation

“One of our Pilots could be the air avenger on the MiG-29 seen by Kyivites,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence says. But the Tweet is more an attempt to Boost Morale rather than Confirming the Existence of the ‘Ghost of Kyiv.’

According to the social media rumors a Ukrainian Air Force MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter pilot has allegedly shot down of 6 Russian jets on Feb. 24, 2022 – including 2x Su-35s, 1x Su-27, 1x MiG-29M, and 2x Su-25s. He’s now nick-named the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’.

Amid the confrontation between Russian and Ukrainian troops in the framework of the invasion of Ukraine carried out by Vladimir Putin’s government, many on social media have drawn inspiration from a mysterious MiG-29 jet appearing over Kyiv.

According to the social media rumors, the Fulcrum should be flown by a Ukrainian Air Force fighter pilot who has allegedly shot down of 6 Russian jets on Feb. 24, 2022 – including 2x Su-35s, 1x Su-27, 1x MiG-29M, and 2x Su-25s. He’s now nick-named the ‘Ghost of Kyiv.’

If he indeed shot down six aircraft, he would be the first ‘ace’ of the 21st Century, an ace being a pilot who has shot down five or more enemy aircraft.

As reported by the The Week, while Ukraine claimed to have shot down several Russian aircraft on the first day of the conflict, there is no clarity on how exactly they were downed—by other aircraft or by anti-aircraft guns or missiles fired from the ground.

However, at midday on Feb. 25, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence shared an image of a MiG-29. It tweeted “Dozens of experienced military pilots from the captain to the general, who had previously been discharged from the reserve, are returning to the Air Force of the Armed Forces. Who knows, maybe one of them is the air avenger on the MiG-29, which is so often seen by Kyivites!”

As we have extensively explained here, the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ is nothing more than an urban legend.

And again, mind you: nobody is complaining about the Ukrainians or bashing them. The tweet in fact appeared to be an attempt at boosting public morale rather than confirming the existence of a mystery ace.

Actually, according to The Aviation Geek Club contributor and Helion & Company publisher’s editor Tom Cooper “after, and/or despite several ‘defensive successes’ yesterday, this morning Ukrainian Armed Forces are facing crises on several frontlines.”

NORTH

Russian forces seem to have punched through the defences north of Kyiv and are confirmed as having entered two outskirts of the capital: Bucha and Oblon. Fire-fights are confirmed from the downtown, too.

It’s hard to assess what’s going on, but considering that some of troops in question appear to be wearing Ukrainian uniforms, it’s possible that this is some sort of ‘special operation’. It’s definitely causing chaos and uncertainty.

Russian VDV is certainly still active in the Antonov/Costomel/Hostomel IAP area: at least trying to support their survivors there with artillery fire.

SOUTH

Russians have captured Melitopol.

The situation in the Kherson area is quite uncertain: some say the Ukrainians have counterattacked, early this morning, and pushed the Russians back to the southern bank of Dnepr, others say the Russians smashed the Ukrainians there and are advancing in northern direction.

Photo credit: Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence Twitter Profile

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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