The stunning life journey of the so-called “Ghost of Kyiv”, the invincible Ukrainian Air Force pilot who fought off Putin’s death squadrons, acquiring global fame, has come to an end.
He single-handedly destroyed some 40 aircraft of the Russian invaders. The identity of the “Ghost of Kyiv” has finally been revealed by the Ukrainian sources, but, unfortunately, so has his death.
MiG-29 Pilot Who Remained 29 Forever
The Ukrainian ace has been named as 29-year-old Maj. Stepan Tarabalka, a pilot of a Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jet.
Tarabalka, or more precisely, the Ghost of Kyiv, became known for allegedly shooting down six Russian warplanes on the very first day of the vicious war of Russian aggression against Ukraine.
However, brave Ukrainians have resisted Russia with great valor and efficiency, frustrating the Russian advances.
They’ve kicked Putin’s brutes out of Northern Ukraine and left the Russian command desperately trying to concentrate its remaining forces in the Donbas region of Eastern and Southeast Ukraine.
Putin’s Ukraine invasion exposed the shocking flaws of the Russian military, which has suffered tremendous losses so far.
According to The Times of London, The Ukrainian pilot hailed as the “Ghost of Kyiv” was killed in battle on March 13.
He’s been identified as Major Stepan Tarabalka, a 29 yr-old father of 1. pic.twitter.com/QKQt3dsOgh
— Visegrád 24 (@visegrad24) April 29, 2022
'Ghost of Kyiv' killed in battle, identity revealed https://t.co/4ANtxmWkKl pic.twitter.com/wA6bcqtFbz
— New York Post (@nypost) April 30, 2022
Identity of Legendary Ukrainian Pilot ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ Revealed by Ukrainian Media.
Maj. Stepan Tarabalka, 29, was killed defending #Ukraine’s skies on March 13.https://t.co/FPmlWcvnn4
— KyivPost (@KyivPost) April 30, 2022
Beating Back Putin’s Air Fleet of Terror
The loss of so many Russian warplanes is particularly notable.
The number is approaching half the number of aircraft of Putin’s military and the Russian Air Force completely failed to establish air superiority over Ukraine.
That has been due to the Ukrainian air defense, the supplying of US-made Stinger portable missile systems, and other western weapons. It’s also because of the dedicated, highly motivated pilots from the small Ukrainian Air Force, including the Ghost of Kyiv, Stepan Tarabalka.
The details about the Ghost of Kyiv remain scant and/or unverified.
According to a report by British newspaper The Times, as cited by the Daily Mail, Tarabalka was killed in battle on March 13, as he was faced with “overwhelming” Russian adversaries.
The report also claimed Tarabalka’s goggles and helmet are going to be sold at an auction in London to raise more money for Ukraine’s defenses against Putin’s hordes.
It was only two days before he perished that the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces shared a photograph of the hero pilot giving a thumbs-up. However, his identity was not revealed; he was in full pilot gear sitting in his MiG-29 cockpit.
The photo was even captioned, with the Ghost of Kyiv telling the Russian occupiers that he is “coming for your soul.”
The scant information now revealed about him is he was born in Korolivka, a village in Western Ukraine. He comes from a working-class family and trained as a pilot at the Kharkiv National University of the Ukrainian Air Force.
Tarabalka is survived by his eight-year-old son Yarik and his wife, Olenia.
His mother, Nahtalia, is quoted as saying how he spent his childhood watching fighter jets flying over their village and dreaming of becoming a pilot.
As he downed about 40 of Putin’s attacking air force, the Ghost of Kyiv sure rendered great service to his freedom-loving nation.
These are the indicative estimates of Russia’s combat losses as of April 30, according to the Armed Forces of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/ran792ghJ8
— The Kyiv Independent (@KyivIndependent) April 30, 2022
Ghost of Kyiv 'is killed': Ukrainian fighter ace who shot down more than FORTY Russian aircrafts dies in battle https://t.co/syRXSIcxCj
— Daily Mail Online (@MailOnline) April 30, 2022
RIP Major Stepan Tarabalka (Ghost of Kiev), 29. He shot down 40 Russian planes. He was declared Hero of Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/ScGM7B7gkk
— Dude 🇺🇦 (@Y0uD0ntMatter) April 29, 2022