Who Was Major Stepan Tarabalka? Ghost of Kyiv Who Destroyed 40 Russian Jets Dies After His Mig-29 is Shot Down

A Ukrainian fighter pilot, who was dubbed as Ghost of Kyiv, died in the battle last month while fighting Russian forces. His identity has been revealed as reports claimed that Major Stepan Tarabalka was killed after his Mig-29 was shot down.

Tarabalka, 29, a father of one, died on March 13 while fighting "overwhelming" enemy forces, sources told The Times. He lost his life while battling Putin's troops, said Bogdan Stanislavsky, the mayor of the western Ukrainian city of Kolomyia.

Major Stepan Tarabalka
Major Stepan Tarabalka Twitter

Ghost of Kyiv Was Nightmare For Invading Russian Aircraft

The 40-year-old pilot was said to have shot down nearly six aircraft the day invasion began. He was dubbed the Ghost of Kyiv as it was unclear who is shooting down a large number of Russian planes. Later Ukraine's government shared a video showing Ghost of Kyiv is for real.

"People call him the Ghost of Kyiv. And rightly so — this UAF (Ukrainian Air Force) ace dominates the skies over our capital and country, and has already become a nightmare for invading Russian aircraft," said the Ukraine government in a tweet previously.

Ghost of Kyiv
Ukraine shared this photograph of Major Stepan Tarabalka Twitter

It was believed that the Ghost of Kyiv was touted to boost morale in Ukraine.

Mayor Stanislavsky revealed that Stepan fought for the will and independence of the Ukraine state and guarded the sky against enemies. "Eternal memory and honor to our defender," said Stanislavsky according to The Mirror.

Major Tarabalka Was Awarded Ukraine's Top Medal For Bravery

Major Tarabalka, who was born in Korolivka village in western Ukraine, left behind his wife Olenia and their eight-year-old son, Yarik. He went to the Kharkiv National University of the Air Force for his graduation.

Posthumously, Major Tarabalka was awarded the Order of the Golden Star, Ukraine's top medal for bravery in combat. He was also given the title Hero of Ukraine.

Sources have also revealed that his helmet and goggles could go on sale at an auction in London. But they didn't elaborate further details about it.

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