A brave Ukrainian pilot fought Russian drones, was ejected from his burning jet and then snapped a selfie of his blood-covered face while giving the thumbs-up sign.
Vadym Voroshylov, a veteran photographer and videographer, didn’t let his head wound stand in the way of a photo.
He later posted it on Instagram with a warning to Kremlin troops: “No one and nothing can break us!”
The amazing picture was taken in October, but the incident only recently came to light.
Vadym had managed to shoot down five Iranian-made Shahed suicide drones in just one week – earning him the reputation of a “drone killer”.
But debris from the last plane entered the cockpit of his MiG-29, slicing his cheek and neck as he flew over Vinnytsia, Forbes reports.
Realizing his jet was about to be destroyed, he pulled the ejection handle – and incredibly managed to hold onto his phone to take the picture as he landed.
Two months later, on December 5, the pilot was awarded the title of Hero of Ukraine, Order of the Golden Star by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Having recovered from his injuries, he is now back in the fray as the devastating war enters its tenth month.
Despite previous successes in the military, Vadym did not expect to be in the air this year.
In July 2021, he and a number of other Ukrainian Air Force pilots refused to renew their five-year contracts.
He said he was unhappy with long hours and low pay, as well as a perceived lack of Air Force support.
“They always blame the pilot,” he told the Kyiv Post. ‘Whether it was the human factor or a technical glitch.’
But when Vladimir Putin sent troops to invade, he knew he had to return to help his country.
It comes as heavy fighting continued in Ukraine on Thursday, mainly in regions annexed by Russia.
Mr Zelensky’s office said 11 civilians were killed and another 17 injured in Ukraine on Wednesday.
Yesterday, Putin warned that the risk of nuclear war was increasing but backtracked on some earlier threats.
The Russian president said his military would “defend itself with any means at our disposal”.
But then he added: “We’re not mad, we know what nuclear weapons are.”
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https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/08/russia-ukrainian-pilots-selfie-after-shooting-down-russian-drones-17906148/ Russia: Ukrainian pilot takes selfie after downing Russian drones