Fact Check: Is this a photo of Ukraine's first female fighter pilot killed in the ongoing war with Russia? Details inside

Amidst the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, a photo of a woman dressed in military uniform is viral on social media with the claim that she is Natasha Perakov, “the first Ukrainian female fighter pilot” who died fighting.

By Misha Rajani  Published on  14 March 2022 3:50 AM GMT
Fact Check: Is this a photo of Ukraines first female fighter pilot killed in the ongoing war with Russia? Details inside

Hyderabad: Amidst the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war, a photo of a woman dressed in military uniform is viral on social media with the claim that she is Natasha Perakov, "the first Ukrainian female fighter pilot" who died fighting.

The photo is being shared with the caption, "Natasha Perakov, 29 years old, the first Ukrainian fighter pilot died in combat during the Russian invasion of Ukraine."



Fact Check

NewsMeter performed a reverse image search and found the same photo on the official website of the Ukrainian ministry of defense. The article, posted in 2016, identifies the woman as Olesya Vorobey, the winner of a beauty contest in Starobilsk, Ukraine. The contest was held in 2016 for women serving in the Ukrainian military and law enforcement and Vorobey won first place. She was a participant in the anti-terrorist operation and a serviceman from the West Operational Command, and not a fighter pilot as claimed by netizens.


The first female combat pilot from Ukraine is Nadiya Savchenko. After serving as a pilot, she joined politics and is now a Member of Parliament. Savchenko has been very active on social media and posts videos on her verified Facebook page, talking about the ongoing war with Russia. Her latest post was made 21 hours before, at the time of writing this article. Clearly, the first female combat pilot from Ukraine is alive. She wasn't killed during the ongoing conflict.

According to an article by the Los Angeles Times, Savchenko was sentenced to jail in connection with the deaths of two Russian journalists. She spent almost two years behind bars in Russia after being captured by pro-Russian separatist militants in June 2014. However, she denied the charges and was freed in May 2016.


Moreover, there have been no official reports or statements about a female Ukrainian fighter pilot being killed in combat in the ongoing war.

Evidently, an unrelated photo of a Ukrainian soldier is being shared to claim that she is the first female fighter pilot of the country who was killed in the ongoing war with Russia.

Claim Review:The first Ukrainian female hunter pilot in Ukraine who died fighting the ongoing war.
Claimed By:Social Media Users
Claim Reviewed By:Newsmeter
Claim Source:Social Media
Claim Fact Check:False
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