“The hero of Ukraine, Stepan Tarabalka, is not the ghost of Kiev, he did not shoot down 40 planes.” The denial contained in an official statement shared on social media was from the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, which published it in response to news spread by the British media.
The Kiev Air Force pilot, Major Stepan Tarabalka, 29, was shot dead while flying his MiG-29 on March 13 and identified as the “ghost of Kiev,” the Times quoted Ukrainian sources as saying. “More than 40 Russian planes” clapped their hands.
But now the Ukrainian Air Force Command has denied the news, revealing that the character no longer exists and is a legendary superhero created in the imagination of Ukrainians.
“We urge the Ukrainian community once again to examine the sources of information before spreading the news,” reads the Ukrainian Armed Forces Communicator. Again: “Ukrainian hero Stepan Tarabalka is not the ‘ghost of Kiev’, he did not hit 40 planes. Tarabalka was killed in an airstrike with the Russian invaders on March 13. Kiev’s ghost is a superhero legend.
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