The Ghost of Kyiv: Ukraine’s Mystery Pilot

Is the Ghost of Kyiv real or just a morale booster?


Cody Cushing

An artistic rendering of the Ghost of Kyiv overlaid on the Ukrainian national flag.

Cody Cushing, Reporter

In the midst of the chaos in Ukraine, two men have risen to high levels of fame in a very short period of time. These two men, the Ukrainian reaper and the Ghost of Kyiv, have come to represent the struggle of the Ukrainian people.

Little is known about the Reaper, aside from 20 confirmed kills so far and many that remain unconfirmed. The Ghost of Kyiv, who, if real, has amassed 10 enemy kills making him an ace two times over. 

The Ghost, who is rumored to fly a MiG-29, is the Soviet’s answer to the F-15 eagle. This is obviously an outdated aircraft as it is a relic of the early 1980s. Flying such an outdated plane comes with drawbacks but The Ghost has still managed to become a hero of the Ukrainian people, and a symbol of endurance to the world. The Ghost, who is allegedly the first fighter ace of the 21st century, has a disputed status of being real or simply a symbol of Ukraine’s resistance and the Ukrainian people as a whole. 

The Ukrainian people have had very little to celebrate in recent weeks, but the Ghost has become a source of light in devastating times for the Ukrainian populace. While the MiG-29 is an older plane, it is an air superiority close-range fighter designed for the purposes of the Ghost’s missions.

The Russian air force flies the much newer Su-57, a multirole stealth fighter, this is the first stealth plane to enter service in the Russian military. When conducting a brief poll, it was determined that a majority of students involved believe that the Ghost of Kyiv is real. The Poll results show that 30 out of every 35 students believe in the Ghost of Kyiv.