The Ghost of Kyiv


Peter Moy '26

In the Ukraine/Russia conflict, you may have heard of the glimmer of hope for the Ukrainian people, The Ghost of Kyiv. This Ghost is a Ukrainian fighter pilot who flies the MiG-29 and has been rumored to have shot down 6 enemy aircraft as of Feb. 24, 2022. There have been no reports about the Ghost of Kyiv since then. There are many questions surrounding this mysterious figure, which we will dive into in this article. 

First, the planes he has reportedly shot down. The Ghost of Kyiv has supposedly shot down two Su-35 planes, two Su-25 planes, a Su-27 plane, and a МіG-29 plane. The plane geeks out there may recognize the power difference between these planes and the Ukrainian MiG-29. The Su-35s versus the MiG-29 is the equivalent of 2 F-35s versus the F-16. 

The next thing we will dive into is the fact that he is the first alleged ace since WWII. To become an ace, you must have shot down five planes, a very difficult accomplishment. Currently though, after having 5 more unconfirmed kills, he has been shot down. Luckily, according to the Ukrainian military, he was ejected with only minor injuries. Now to the biggest thing, is he real? After all, this is only a rumor, and the proof that he is real is the fact that the Ukrainian president said that he was. But this could very easily be propaganda. 

You may have heard of another flying ace, the Red Baron, the nickname given to Manfred Albrecht von Richthofen, a legendary German fighter pilot in World War I. Let’s see how they compare. The Ghost of Kyiv had 6 kills in 1 day, but the Red Baron had 22 kills in 1 day. However, the Ghost of Kyiv is in the modern age, where it takes more than 1 bullet through the wing of a plane to shoot it down. In addition, the Ghost of Kyiv has been in an older, less advanced plane, whereas the Red Baron was in the best plane of his time, so I believe the Ghost of Kyiv is slightly more skilled. Overall, whether he’s real or not, the Ghost of Kyiv is a beacon of hope for the people of Ukraine.  

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