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Fact Check: Did The ‘Ghost Of Kyiv’ Shoot Down Russia’s Su-35 Fighter Jet In Viral Video? Here Is The Truth


Russia launched a military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022. In the above context, a video showing two fighter jets is being widely shared on social media in which one fighter jet is shot down. The claim associated with the video hints that it shows MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force shooting down a Su-35 fighter jet of Russia’s Air Force.

The video is shared with a caption that reads, “Crazy footage of a MiG-29 of the Ukrainian Air Force shooting down a Su-35 fighter jet of #Russia’s Air Force over Ukraine’s capital #Kyiv today. Likely using the R-73 infrared homing missile.”

The link to the post can be seen here.


NewsMobile did a fact-check and found the claim to be fake.

On searching with the keywords, ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ we found a report published by Wion on February 26, 2022. The report suggested that a Ukrainian pilot had shot down 6 Russian aircrafts and might have possibly become the first 21st-century fighter ace to do so. He was referred to as the Ghost of Kyiv.

The report is shared with a disclaimer that reads, “WION could not independently verify the authenticity of these clips. At the time of reporting, no Ukrainian authority has confirmed that the Ghost of Kyiv is real.”

According to News18, ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ is a story about an unknown pilot who has shot down 6 fighter jets of Russia. There is no such confirmation but the story is widely being shared on social media.

We also found that the same video was uploaded by a YouTube channel Comrade_Corb on February 25, 2022 with the title that reads, “GHOST OF KIEV | dogfight between Ukrainian MiG29 and Russian Su27 simulated in DCS World.” The description of the video read, “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.” ”

We found  DCS or Digital Combat Simulator is a free-to-play combat flight simulation game developed primarily by Eagle Dynamics and The Fighter Collection.
While the viral post is a digital simulation, Ukraine has said that they have shot down a Russian aircraft over Kyiv. According to an adviser to the country’s interior minister, at least three people in the building were injured in a counterattack by Ukraine. The counterattack came after several loud explosions were heard over Kyiv around 4 a.m. The blasts reportedly came from Ukrainian air defences firing at the Russian aircraft.
Hence, we can ascertain that the viral video is a visual from a video game and does not show the real military conflict in Ukraine.

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