His MiG-29 In Flames, Blood Pouring Down His Face, This Ukrainian Pilot Still Managed To Snap A Selfie

An accomplished photographer and videographer, Maj. Vadym Voroshylov already was the Ukrainian air force’s most famous MiG-29 pilot when, in October, he completed his masterpiece.

Ejecting from his ruined MiG following a daring nighttime battle with Russian drones, Voroshylov floated toward the ground, blood streaming from a head wound. He flashed a thumbs-up … and snapped a selfie.

A month later on Dec. 5, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky awarded Voroshylov the title of “Hero of Ukraine, Order of the Gold Star.”

Having recovered from his wounds, Voroshylov, is back in the air. This was not the outcome he expected just 18 months ago. In July 2021, Voroshylov was one of several Ukrainian air force pilots who publicly declined to extend their five-year military contracts.

To explain his decision, Voroshylov cited long hours, low pay, old aircraft and the air force’s habit of scapegoating pilots whenever there was a plane crash. “They always blame the pilot,” Voroshylov told Kyiv Post. “No matter if it was the human factor or a technical malfunction.”

But Voroshylov still was a patriot. He recalled seeing Ukrainian jets practicing for an upcoming independence day parade. “I almost cried,” he said. A few months later, Russia widened its war on Ukraine—and Voroshylov rejoined the air force.

Flying under the call sign “Karaya,” Voroshylov soon earned a reputation as a drone-killer. Russian forces this fall began sending Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones on one-way missions to strike Ukrainian cities and power plants. In just one week of furious flying, Voroshylov shot down five drones.

It was the last drone, buzzing over Vinnytsia in west-central Ukraine, that got him. Debris from the exploding unmanned aerial vehicle peppered Voroshylov’s MiG and cut into the pilot’s cheek and neck. Blood coated his face and filled his eyes as he pulled the ejection handle.

Incredibly, Voroshylov managed to hold onto his phone and snap a selfie as he descended under his parachute canopy. He later posted the selfie on Instagram. “I will say succinctly,” he wrote in the caption. “No one and nothing can break us!”

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Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidaxe/2022/12/08/his-mig-29-in-flames-blood-pouring-down-his-face-this-ukrainian-pilot-still-managed-to-snap-a-selfie/