Stepan Ivanovich Tarabalka – Ukrainian pilot, Major of the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Stepan Tarabalka was born on January 9, 1993 in the village of Korolyovka, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Ukraine.
At the age of 13, he entered the Carpathian Military Sports Lyceum, and then – at the Kharkiv National University of the Air Force. I. Kozhedub.
Graduated from university in 2014.
Became a pilot on the MiG-29 fighter.
Married to Elena Tarabalka.
The couple has a son.
How Stepan Tarabalka died
On March 15, 2022, the chairman of Kolomyia, Ivano-Frankivsk region, Bohdan Stanislavsky, announced that Stepan Tarabalka died in battle against Russian invaders who invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022.
“Defending Ukraine from Russian invaders, a native of Korolivka, Major Stepan Tarabalka, died. We sincerely sympathize with his wife Elena, son Yaroslav, father Ivan, mother Natalia, and family. Stepan fought for the freedom and independence of our state. He guarded the sky against enemies. Eternal memory and respect to our defender!” Stanislavsky wrote on Facebook.
On March 19, 2022, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky awarded Stepan Tarabalka the title of Hero of Ukraine posthumously.
On March 23, 2022, the air command “West” of the Air Force of the Armed Forces of Ukraine wrote about Stepan Tarabalka.
“Heroes do not die – heroes are among us! Stepan Taralbalka is one of the romantics who has dreamed of becoming a military pilot since childhood. And he confidently went to his dream. At the age of 13, Stepan entered the Carpathian military sports lyceum, and then entered the flying military university – Kharkiv National Air Force University named after Kozhedub, which he successfully graduated in 2014, ”the message on Facebook says.
“This is an officer of the new generation of the Ukrainian army, who began his official career at the very time when the war came to Ukraine. Protecting his country was a conscious choice for him. Everyone who knew Stepan Tarabalka personally says that he is a real officer and a professional in his field. Subordinates are equal to people like him, and senior commanders are sure that everything in the units will be under control. On March 13, 2022, Major Stepan Taralka died in an air battle with the superior forces of the Russian invaders. The President of Ukraine awarded the pilot the title of “Hero of Ukraine” with the award of the Order of the “Gold Star” posthumously. Hero of Ukraine Stepan Tarabalka will always live in our hearts! Glory to the Hero! We continue the fight against the occupier!” – wrote the air command “West”.
Is it true Stepan Tarabalka “Ghost of Kyiv”
On February 27, 2022, a message about the “Ghost of Kyiv” appeared on the Telegram channel of the Security Service of Ukraine.
“He is called the “Ghost of Kyiv”, although he protects our safety like a real Angel. In sky battles, the Ukrainian pilot has already shot down 10 aircraft of the invaders. Keep it up. Together we will win! – the post says.
After that, from day to day there were new reports of the combat successes of the “Phantom of Kyiv”.
On March 24, 2022, messages began to appear in social networks that the deceased Stepan Tarabalka was supposedly the “Ghost of Kyiv”.
However, Violetta Kirtoka, a journalist for the Ukrainian edition of Censor.net, denied these rumors.
“There are strange reports about the death of the Ghost of Kyiv. So. The ghost of Kyiv asked me to convey: everything is fine with him. More details will follow in the article in the coming days. And the Illusive Man says, “Yes, our pilots are dying on missions. They are awarded high honors posthumously. And that’s right. Because they are all Heroes. But even in the ranks, there are as many pilots as the enemy never dreamed of. And they will destroy all the Russian scum who are bombing Ukraine.” And the Ghost of Kyiv is among them. Wait for a conversation with the Legend. She is in the works,” she wrote on Facebook.