Russia-Ukraine War: 'Ghost of Kyiv' shot down after destroying 40 Russian planes

Russia-Ukraine War:

According to reports, a fighter pilot of Ukraine known as the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ was killed last month during the war against Russia. He had reportedly shot down 40 Russian planes during the Russia-Ukraine war.

Following his death, the identity of the mysterious pilot was revealed as 29-year-old Major Stephen Tarabalka. According to media reports, he was killed when he was flying a MiG-29, which was shot down on March 13 while fighting Russian forces.

Tarabalka was hailed as an “angel” by Ukrainians after the government credited him with downing six Russian planes on the first day of the war. At the time, his identity was a secret. Perhaps because of the secrecy around him, he became a fictitious and enigmatic figure of the ghost of Kyiv.

The Ukrainian government’s official tweet said it had already become a nightmare for attacking Russian planes. People called him the ghost of Kyiv.

Ukraine’s General Staff later tweeted a photo of the fighter pilot in the cockpit of his MiG-29 jet, captioned it: “Hello, occupant, I’m coming for your soul!”

Major Tarabalka was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine, the top medal of Ukraine (Order of the Golden Star), for bravery in battle. He is survived by his wife Olenia and eight-year-old son Yarik.

According to The Times, Major was born to a working-class family in the small village of Tarabalka and Korolyvka in western Ukraine. He wanted to become a pilot since childhood, as he used to see fighter jets in the sky over his village.

Major Tarabalka’s parents said that the Ukrainian military did not give them any details of his last flight or his death. His father Evan told the media, “We know he was flying on a mission and he completed the mission. Then he didn’t return. That’s all the information we have.”

Many questioned whether the Kyiv ghost was real, wondering whether it was a morale-boosting myth created by the Ukrainian government. Even Tarabalka’s parents were unaware of her secret status. Sadly, it was only after his death that the world came to know about the truth. Though the man is gone, his legend will live on.


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