After Russia launched its attack on Ukraine, claims that a Ukrainian fighter pilot, called the “Ghost of Kyiv,” had shot down multiple Russian fighter jets spread online.
The video in question reportedly shows an “MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force shooting down a Su-35 fighter jet of #Russia’s Air Force”.
“The Ukrainian military said on Feb. 24 that five Russian planes and a Russian helicopter were shot down in the Luhansk region,” Reuters reported. However, it was not confirmed that a single pilot shot down the aircrafts.
Videos of a jet circling around the Ukraine capital of Kyiv had already become popular on social media, leading to the “Ghost of Kyiv” story.
Multiple sources, such as Reuters and Snopes, have confirmed that the video is from Digital Combat Simulator, a 2008 simulation game.
It was originally posted on YouTube by user “Comrade_Corb,” who said “This footage is from DCS, but is nevertheless made out of respect for ‘The Ghost of Kiev'”. “If he is real, may God be with him; if he is fake, I pray for more like ‘him'”.
The game was developed by the company Eagle Dynamics and a spokesperson confirmed to Reuters that the clip was not real. “We are not responsible for its distribution, nor do we endorse such content,” they said.
Despite evidence that the video is fake, the government’s Twitter account said “People call him the Ghost of Kyiv. And rightly so – this UAF ace dominates the skies over our capital and country, and has already become a nightmare for invading Russian aircrafts”.
Ukraine’s former president Petro Poroshenko also shared a post about the supposed pilot. “In the photo [is] the MiG-29 pilot. The same “Ghost of Kyiv”. It terrifies enemies and makes Ukrainians proud. He has 6 victories over Russian pilots! With such powerful defenders, Ukraine will definitely win!” he said.