Adam Kinzinger Humiliated by 'Ghost of Kyiv' Pranksters
Anti-Trump congressman falls for infamous Sam Hyde prank
Anti-Trump Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) was humiliated on social media after falling for a prank about the mysterious "Ghost of Kyiv."
The NeverTrumper fell victim to internet pranksters over the weekend by retweeting the viral hoax that the “Ghost of Kyiv” is a man called “Samuyil Hyde.”
Rumors have been emerging online about the identity of the alleged Ukrainian fighter ace known only as the “Ghost of Kyiv.”
The unidentified fighter pilot is rumored to have single-handily shot down six invading Russian jets, but such stories have yet to be officially confirmed.
Online pranksters are quick to spread memes naming American comedian Sam Hyde as the culprit in big news stories such as mass shootings.
In this case, Kinzinger fell for an ethnic spin on Hyde's name alongside a poor photoshop of him sitting in a fighter jet cockpit.
The meme, which spread quickly on social media after news of the “Ghost of Kyiv” started to trend, is a variant on the long-running Sam Hyde prank, which claims that the American comedian Sam Hyde is responsible for newsworthy events, particularly those involving mass casualties.
In a now-deleted tweet, Rep. Kinzinger, who has been censured by the GOP for serving on the January 6 commission, during which he infamously broke down in tears, retweeted one of the pranksters, praising “Samuyil” for “owning” the Russian air force.
“The #ghostofkyiv has a name, and he has absolutely OWNED the Russian Airforce,” said Rep. Kinzinger.
“Godspeed and more kills, Samuyil!”
The tweet was archived by ProPublica’s Politwoops project, which tracks deleted tweets by public officials.
Anonymous pranksters delight in convincing media organizations and public officials that Sam Hyde is responsible for various headline-making events.
In 2017, for example, pranksters briefly convinced Democrat congressman Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (D-TX) that Sam Hyde was responsible for a mass shooting at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas.
Rep. Gonzalez then repeated the hoax on CNN.
Pranksters have spread other memes of Hyde participating in the conflict, such as one naming him as a fallen Ukrainian soldier.
ID of fallen Azov leader who was KIA by Russian "peacekeeping forces" earlier today in Luhansk pic.twitter.com/uY6ptS8zef— 🇲🇰kio🇲🇰 (@MankyKio) February 21, 2022
Hyde himself, posting in character as a mock leftist, lambasted the war over “Diet Russia.”
Me: shocked, crying White Tears when Diet Russia is under attack— Sam Hyde 🇮🇳 (@wigger) February 24, 2022
Meanwhile: 1000's of Black Folx murdered by police in your hometown, no one says boo pic.twitter.com/RUy2on0kqT
The “Ghost of Kyiv” is an alleged Ukrainian fighter ace, responsible, according to some viral social media posts, for shooting down six Russian planes.
However, the existence of both the pilot and his alleged kill count are still unconfirmed, even by Ukrainian officials.
Some on social media continue to eagerly share unconfirmed rumors about the “ghost.”
Author Jessica Scott shared a rumor that the “ghost” is a female fighter pilot, only to later find out that the image she shared was from several years ago.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has created fertile ground for rumors and hoaxes of all kinds.
Twitter’s fact-checkers, which reacted with lightning speed to censor President Trump during the 2020 election, as well as the infamous Hunter Biden “laptop from hell” stories, do not appear to be taking significant action to contain misinformation and unconfirmed rumors around the Ukraine conflict.