Ukrainian Pilot Took A Selfie Of His Blood-Covered Face After Ejecting From MiG-29

Instagram photo via Ukraine MOD

Maj. Vadym Voroshylov snapped a selfie after a night ejection from his MiG-29 Fulcrum.

Known by his callsign Karaya, Maj. Vadym Voroshylov already was the most famous MiG-29 Fulcrum of the Ukrainian Air Force. On his Instagram account, followed by 130K users, he regularly posts photographs as well as footage shot with GoPro-cameras, that provide a pretty unique view of the air war fought by the Ukrainian fighter pilots against the Russian Aerospace Forces assets over Ukraine.

Although some of his images had already got a lot of attention, Karaya’s last post is something never seen before and as such, went immediately viral: he managed to snap a selfie of his blood-covered face while descending under his parachute canopy after ejecting over west-central Ukraine.

The incident occurred around 21.00 LT on Oct. 12, 2022, but it was made public only a couple of days ago, on Dec. 6, the Day of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, when Voroshylov published the photo on his Instagram feed and received the title of Hero of Ukraine with the Order of the Golden Star.

As specified in the document published by the President of Ukraine, the state award was awarded to Voroshilov “for personal courage and heroism shown in protecting the state sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, as well as selfless service to the Ukrainian people”.

Karaya had earned the reputation of drone killer after downing five Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones during a massive wave of attacks on Ukrainian cities and power plants in October.

However, the wreckage of one of the destroyed UAVs caught the MiG-29 cockpit. Debris cut into the pilot’s cheek and neck. According to the investigation report, Karaya directed the MiG-29 fighter into the field to avoid large-scale destruction and casualties among the civilian population and then managed to reach the ejection handle. The rest is told by his now famous selfie.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.