A video is being shared on social media claiming that Ukraine’s first female fighter pilot, Natasha Perakov, died at the age of 28 during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. This post shared a video of a lady pilot operating a jet plane and a picture of a woman dressed in a camouflage outfit. Let’s verify the claim made in the post.
Claim: Photo of Natasha Perokov, the Ukraine’s first female fighter pilot who died during the war with Russia.
Fact: Neither the Ukrainian military nor the Ukrainian authorities have mentioned anything about the death of a female pilot during the ongoing war with Russia. Ukraine’s first female combat pilot was Nadiya Savchenko and she is still alive. While the video shared in the post shows a female pilot demonstrating the operation of Air Combat Command F-35A Lightning, the photo shows a model dressed in a fake military outfit. Hence, the claim made in the post is FALSE.
On reverse image search of the screenshots in the video, a video with similar visuals was found published by the ‘spencerhughes2255’ YouTube channel on 20 September 2021. The description of the video stated it as visuals of Major Kristin Beo Wolfe performing the Air Combat Command F-35A Lightning II demonstration
On reverse image search of the photo, we found that the ‘Ukraine War News 24’ channel has tweeted the same photo mentioning her as the first female fighter Natasha Perakov. A journalist named Nga Pham has responded to this tweet and clarified that the picture was taken from a website that sells fake military outfits. Nga Pham through another tweet provided the sources from which he had found the image. This photo of a woman in a military camouflage was available on different e-commerce websites. They can be seen here and here.
When we searched with relevant keywords, we found the details of Ukraine’s first female pilot in an article published by the ‘Los Angels Times’. This article mentioned Ukraine’s first female pilot’s name as Nadiya Savchenko. According to the details provided in the article, Nadiya Savchenko was captured by pro-Russian separatist militants in June 2014 amid a conflict in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions in southeastern Ukraine. Russian Court sentenced Nadiya Savchenko to 22 years in jail in connection with the deaths of two Russian journalists. After spending two years in jail, Nadiya Savchenko was freed in a prisoner exchange with Russia. Lately, Nadiya Savchenko shared multiple videos and photos on her social media handles. They can be seen here and here. Neither the Ukrainian military nor the Ukrainian authorities have mentioned anything about the death of a female pilot named Natasha Perokov.
To sum it up, unrelated visuals are shared as that of Ukraine’s first female pilot killed during the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.