FACT CHECK: Did The Associated Press Report ‘The Ghost Of Kyiv’ Was Shot Down?

Kenia Mazariegos | Contributor

An image shared on Facebook claims the Associated Press reported that “The Ghost of Kyiv” was “shot down.”

Verdict: False

There is no evidence the outlet published such a story. A spokesperson for the Associated Press denied the claim.

Fact Check

Ukraine maintains a “significant majority” of its air force over a week after the Russian invasion began, Al-Jazeera reported. Among that air force is allegedly the “Ghost of Kyiv,” a Ukrainian pilot who shot down as many as six Russian planes on the first date of combat, according to the New York Post. The existence of the ace pilot is questionable, the outlet reported.

The Facebook image shows a screen grab of a Twitter post tagging an Associated Press account with text reading, “BREAKING NEWS: Ghost of Kyiv has been shot down per @APNews he had 15 kills.” The screen grab also features a photo that allegedly shows the burning remains of the aircraft. (RELATED: Did CNN Report That Vladimir Putin Warned India Against Interfering In The Invasion Of Ukraine?)

The Associated Press has not reported such a story. An article to that effect does not appear on the Associated Press’ official website or its verified TwitterFacebook and Instagram accounts. The account tagged in the original tweet is an outdated account from the Associated Press.

A reverse image search also found the photo in the tweet predates the Russian invasion of Ukraine. It actually shows a U.S. military aircraft that crashed in a field in Weston Hills, England, in October 2014 during a “combat training exercise,” according to the BBC.

“This is bogus. The Associated Press did not report this,” Lauren Easton, a spokesperson for the Associated Press, told Check Your Fact via email.

This isn’t the first time social media users have shared a fake report related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict that has been misattributed to a news outlet. Check Your Fact previously debunked a photo allegedly showing CNN reporting on the death of an American in Ukraine.

Kenia Mazariegos



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