A Ukrainian air force captain described by the military as an ace fighter pilot has died defending his homeland, his childhood school reported in an obituary. He did not reveal the circumstances of his death.
The Ivano-Frankovsk city school said on social networks that Anton Listopad was “recognized in 2019 as the best pilot of the Ukrainian Air Force and participated in military actions in eastern Ukraine.”
A captain by that name was among those awarded various merits by Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky last month. The man has his own Wikipedia page in the Ukrainian version of the online encyclopedia, although it was created only two days before Zelensky’s order was published.
The school that announced Listopad’s death published a biography of the man last year, saying he joined the Ukrainian Armed Forces in 2010. He underwent two surgeries to qualify to be a combat pilot and studied at a military aviation school in Kharkov, which he graduated in 2018, fulfilling his childhood dream, according to the article.
Listopad was 31 at the time of his death, judging by the biography. The article included several photos of him as a student, piloting a fighter jet and receiving the Order of Courage from Zelensky.
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The obituary said Listopad led the flypast over Kyiv during the country’s independence celebration last year, with “Millions of Ukrainians watch with joy and pride.”
The Russian military claims to have virtually uncontested control of the airspace of much of Ukraine, which makes most combat missions for Ukrainian military pilots extremely dangerous. According to the latest update from the Russian Defense Ministry, more than 260 Ukrainian fighter jets were destroyed during the conflict, both in the air and on the ground, by Russian combat aircraft and air defenses.
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