One of Ukraine’s top pilots, Anton Lystopad, has been killed in action while defending Ukraine, the Physical and Technical Lyceum of the Ivano-Frankivsk Regional Council reported on Aug 14.
After completing his studies at the Lyceum, Anton Lystopad became a military pilot of the highest class. He took part in action starting from the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24.
In 2019, he won acclaim as the best pilot of the Ukraine’s Air Force. He also took part in the military parade in Kyiv in a flyover on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of Ukraine's independence.
A few days ago, President Volodymyr Zelenskyy awarded Lystopad with the 3d class Order for Courage.
While few of Ukraine’s air force pilots are household names, they have proved to be an important link in Ukraine defensive chain against Russian aggression.
Although many Western experts had expected Russia to knock out Ukraine’s much smaller air force in the first hours and day of its invasion, Ukraine dispersed its warplanes and many of the bases initially hit by the Russians were empty.
Ukrainian fighter pilots were then active over Kyiv, maintaining an air presence and shooting down Russian warplanes and missiles – giving birth to the legend of the “Ghost of Kyiv” – supposedly a Ukrainian ace pilot who shot down dozens of Russian aircraft.
Since receiving improved air defenses, Ukraine’s air force has become more active in offensive roles, and its U.S. supplied HARM anti-radar missiles have now given the Ukrainian air force the ability to target Russian air defenses more accurately.
Russian warplanes and helicopters, while still active over front line areas, and launching missiles at Ukraine from Russian and Belarusian airspace, are no long reported to be entering Ukrainian-controlled air space.