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Featured Image Credit: Twitter/Eagle Dynamics
Viral footage purporting to show a Ukrainian Air Force pilot shooting down Russian jets is from a combat flight simulator.
'The Ghost of Kyiv' has become a heroic urban legend since late February when Vladimir Putin ordered for the invasion of Ukraine.
Posts on social media have praised the pilot who apparently single-handedly took down six Russian military aircraft.
CNN seemingly corroborated the story after the General Staff of the Ukrainian Army confirmed five fighter jets and one helicopter had been shot down on February 24.
There was even a video doing the rounds claiming to show this incredible feat in action.
#BREAKING— Ukrainelive (@Ukrainelive5) February 25, 2022
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. #Ukraine #RussiaInvadesUkraine #worldwar3 #WorldWarIII #WWIII pic.twitter.com/MWGRfhnexB
One post on Twitter that shared the clip wrote: "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."
However, it's since been revealed that the footage is from Digital Combat Simulator World.
The creator of the combat flight simulator has confirmed to Reuters that the clips that have been widely shared on social media are from their game.
The simulator is made by Eagle Dynamics and Matthias Techmanski, a spokesperson for the company, told the news outlet: “We are not responsible for its distribution, nor do we endorse such content."
According to DW, a person uploaded footage from the simulator to YouTube on February 24 and never claimed that it was the real deal.
In the caption they wrote: "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."
According to GamingBible, it's easy to see why this footage went viral so easily.
Not only is the simulator super realistic, but apparently this clip was 'set in the Caucasus region near Russia, Georgia and Crimea, so everything fits'.
But that hasn't stopped people continuing to promote the story of 'The Ghost of Kyiv'.
Ukraine's former President, Petro Poroshenko, and even Ukraine's Defense Ministry have promoted the story following Russia's invasion.
It's not clear whether the pilot exists or whether the story is being used as a big morale boost to help the Ukrainians fight back against Russia.
The only thing that is clear is that the footage that you have probably seen on social media isn't real.