Major Stepan Tarabalka, aka Ghost of Kyiv, has passed away. The death of the mysterious Ukrainian jet pilot called the Ghost of Kyiv was revealed by sources on Friday, April 29. Local Ukrainian media reported the identity of the famous pilot as Stepan Tarabalka.
Tarabalka was said to have shot down roughly 40 Russian planes last month. The legion of individuals who backed Ukraine in the fight recognized him as a military hero. According to reports, the famed pilot was shot down while flying his MiG-29 fighter on March 13. The Ghost of Kyiv was eventually determined to have died on the day his jet probably crashed.
The death of the enigmatic pilot was revealed by The Times of London, which also officially named Major Stepan Tarabalka, a 29-year-old father of one, as the war hero for the first time.
According to his family, Tarabalka was posthumously awarded Ukraine’s highest medal for courage in combat, the Order of the Golden Star, along with the title Hero of Ukraine. According to sources who confirmed Tarabalka’s identity, his helmet and goggles, which were all that was seen of him while Ukrainian officials hailed his valor, are now slated to be auctioned in London.
When the Ukrainian government credited the then-anonymous pilot with shooting down six Russian planes on the first day of the war, Tarabalka became a strange legend.
Stepan Tarabalka was a Ukrainian air force major who piloted a MiG-29 fighter jet and became a folk hero among Ukraine inhabitants and supporters after shooting down roughly 40 Russian planes.
While nothing is known about Tarabalka, he was claimed to be 29 years old. He was from Korolivka, a tiny hamlet in western Ukraine. Natalia and Evon Tarabalka gave birth to the late air force major. His parents, wife Olenia, and their eight-year-old son Yarik survive him.
Stepan Tarabalka attended the Kharkiv National University of the Air Force, according to local sources. He had previously received the Ukrainian government’s highest gallantry medal, the Order of the Golden Star, along with the title of “Hero of Ukraine.”
While growing up adjacent to a military base in the hamlet of Korolivka, Tarabalka’s parents described how their son’s lifetime desire was to become a fighter pilot. Despite having no military connections, his parents were astounded when he realized his ambition.
Major Stepan Tarabalka was in his 30s. He was born to Nahtalia and Evon Tarabalka.
Tarabalka was granted the Order of the Golden Star, along with the title Hero of Ukraine, and leaves behind a wife, Olenia, and an 8-year-old son, Yarik.
(Image Source: NyPost)