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Video purportedly showing 'Ghost of Kyiv' MiG-29 pilot is fake

Amid unconfirmed claims that a Ukrainian fighter pilot shot down six Russian jets on Thursday, viral video footage purporting to show the individual in action has been shown to be fake.

(FILES) In this file photo taken on November 11, 2019 a US F-16 fighter jet takes part in the "Blue Flag" multinational air defence exercise at the Ovda air force base, north of the Israeli city of Eilat. - Israel's military said its air defences fired at

A widely-shared video purportedly of the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’, a fighter pilot rumoured to have shot down several Russian jets, has been shown to be a fake.

Ukrainian fighter 'ace' goes viral on social media

On Thursday, social media was inundated with unconfirmed claims that a Ukrainian pilot at the controls of a MiG-29 had accounted for six jets on the first day of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

According to one viral post, the ‘Ghost of Kyiv’ downed two SU-35s, one SU-27, one MiG-29 and two SU-25s.

Under generally recognised air warfare naming conventions, any pilot who manages five 'kills' (destroying or downing an enemy plane) is considered an 'ace'.

It remains unclear whether or not the 'Ghost of Kyiv' actually exists, but fact-checkers Snopes.com have established that the footage below, which claims to show the pilot in action, is not real:

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'Ghost of Kyiv' 'video' taken from combat simulator

Snopes’ Dan Evon clarifies that the video in fact depicts a scene from Digital Combat Simulator, a free-to-play combat-simulation video game.

Evon explains that the video was first posted by YouTube user Comrade_Corb, who clearly states that the footage is not real.

Comrade_Corb's YouTube caption reads: "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.'"

Former Ukraine president posts photo of alleged Ghost of Kyiv

The former Ukraine president Petro Poroshenko posted a photo of what he said was the Ghost of Kyiv on Friday, though the pilot was not identified.

In the tweet Poroshenko says: "None other than the Ghost of Kyiv. He causes terror in enemies and pride in Ukrainians. He has six victories over Russian pilots! With such powerful defenders, Ukraine will definitely win!"

Live coverage of the war in Ukraine

You can follow the latest developments in Ukraine with our live-text coverage of Russia's invasion of the country.