Heroic Ukrainian pilot takes selfie covered in blood after drone battle
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A Ukrainian pilot has gone viral after finding the time to snap a picture of his blood-covered face while parachuting down to the ground after ejecting from his plane.
Moments after taking part in a battle with Russian drones, I can't imagine taking a selfie would be the first thing on my list, but Major Vadym Voroshylov caught a moment in history as he did exactly that.
The pilot, who is already an accomplished photographer and videographer, firmly positioned himself as Ukrainian air force’s most famous MiG-29 pilot when he shared his snap taken as he left behind his ruined MiG plane in October.
Flying under the call sign 'Karaya', which is also his handle on Instagram and YouTube, Voroshylov captures moments in his plane for the internet and has earned himself a reputation as a drone killer.
He successfully shot down five Russian drones within the space of just one week after the enemy began sending in Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones on missions to strike Ukrainian cities and power plants, but he got hit by the explosion of the final drone.
The pilot was flying over Vinnytsia in west-central Ukraine when he was hit, with debris from the unmanned drone hitting his plane and leaving him with injuries to his cheek and neck.
He pulled the ejection handle, but decided to use the journey down to snap the now-famous selfie of his blood-covered face.
Sharing the post on Instagram this week, the pilot wrote (translated): "December 6 Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine! I'll put it in a nutshell. No one and nothing can break us!
"The Defense Forces of Ukraine stand to protect not only our State, they stand to protect the whole civilised world, it is a shield that protects the Western world from the horde that leaves only chaos and destruction behind! But this protection is very expensive for the sons of Ukraine, so it needs to be understood and remembered!
"Glory to Ukraine! Glory to the Armed Forces of Ukraine! Victory is ours."
The pilot alluded to popular footage of 'planes flying' and 'rockets firing' but said there is 'no understanding of what is happening behind the scenes'.
"So I decided to upload the unedited photo," he explained.
A few weeks after his ordeal in the skies, Voroshylov was awarded Ukraine's highest military honour of 'Hero of Ukraine, Order of the Gold Star' by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy
He is now said to be back in the air after recovering from his wounds.