Andriy Pilshchykov alias Juice, a Ukrainian pilot part of the Kyiv Ghost unit was among three pilots killed in a collision between two fighter planes during a mission against Russia. Photo/Pravda
KYIV – Ukraine is in mourning after the collision of two L-39 trainer planes killed three pilots. Sadly, one of these pilots was Andriy Pilshchykov who was known to be part of the unit “The Ghost of Kyiv” or “Ghosts of Kyiv”.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said the three pilots died in a plane crash while on a combat mission in the northwestern region of Zhytomyr last Friday.
Pilshchykov is a famous Ukrainian fighter pilot with the nickname “Juice”.
Quoting CNN, Monday (28/8/2023), “Juice” is a member of “The Ghost of Kyiv”—a unit that defended central and northern Ukraine at the start of the war against Russia.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said, “Ukraine will never forget all those who defended its free skies.”
Fluent in English, Pilshchykov was one of two pilots who traveled to Washington DC last summer to meet with members of the United States (US) Congress and lobby for F-16 aircraft for Ukraine. He appears regularly in US media.
Expanded lobbying efforts finally paid off earlier this month when Denmark and the Netherlands said they would supply the jets.
However, the accident deprived Pilshchykov of any chance. “You can’t even imagine how much he wanted to fly the F-16,” Ukrainian Air Force spokesman Yuriy Ihnat wrote on social media.
“But now that American planes are literally in sight, he’s not going to fly them.”