Russia: Ukrainian pilot’s selfie after shooting down Russian drones

Vadym Voroshylov has earned a reputation as a ‘drone-killer’ in the Russian war (Picture: Ukrainian Ministry of Defense)

A brave Ukrainian pilot battled Russian drones, ejected from his ablaze jet, then took a selfie of his blood-covered face while giving the thumbs-up sign.

Vadym Voroshylov, an experienced photographer and videographer, didn’t let his head wound get in the way of a photo.

He later posted it on Instagram with a warning to Kremlin troops: ‘No one and nothing can break us!’

The astonishing picture was taken back in October, but the incident only recently came to light.

Vadym had managed to shoot down five Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones in just one week – earning him a reputation as a ‘drone-killer’.

But debris from the last one penetrated the cockpit of his MiG-29 and cut his cheek and neck while he flew over Vinnytsia, Forbes reports.

Realising his jet was about to be destroyed, he pulled the ejection handle – and incredibly managed to keep ahold of his phone to take the picture when he landed.

Two months later, on December 5, the pilot was awarded the title of ‘Hero of Ukraine, Order of the Gold Star’ by President Volodymyr Zelensky.

Vadym Voroshylov

The pilot was awarded the title of ‘Hero of Ukraine, Order of the Gold Star’ (Picture: Instagram Via Ukrainian Ministry of Defense)
Defense of Ukraine flagged the incident on social media (Picture: Ukrainian Ministry of Defense)

After recovering from his injuries, he is now back in battle, as the devastating war veers into its tenth month.

Despite previous success in the military, Vadym wasn’t expecting to be in the air this year.

In July 2021, he and a number of other Ukrainian airforce pilots refused to extend their five-year contracts.

He said he was unhappy with long hours and low pay, as well as an alleged lack of support from the air force.

‘They always blame the pilot’, he told the Kyiv Post. ‘No matter if it was the human factor or a technical malfunction.’

But when Vladimir Putin sent troops to invade, he knew he had to return to help his country.

It comes as heavy fighting continued in Ukraine on Thursday, mostly in the regions annexed by Russia. 

Mr Zelensky’s office said 11 civilians were killed and a further 17 wounded in Ukraine on Wednesday.

Yesterday, Putin warned the risk of nuclear war is growing but rowed back on some previous threats.

The Russian president said his military would ‘defend ourselves with all the means at our disposal’.

But then added: ‘We haven’t gone mad, we realise what nuclear weapons are’.

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