Kremlin Pilot’s Lost Corpse Washes Ashore on Russian ‘Victory Day’

Ukrainian authorities quipped that he had probably floated to the surface of the Kyiv Reservoir “to celebrate May 9th.”

Allison Quinn

The body of a Russian pilot shot down over the skies of Kyiv on the first day of Moscow’s full-scale invasion last year suddenly surfaced as Russia was celebrating Victory Day on Tuesday.

Ukrainian authorities say the remains of Roman Mankishev washed up on the shores of the Kyiv Reservoir in Vyshgorod, just north of the capital, and were discovered by workers at the hydroelectric power plant.

Andrii Nebytov, the head of the Kyiv region police, posted a photo of the remains on Telegram, along with the mocking caption: “Pilot Roma floated to the surface, probably to celebrate May 9th. He couldn’t just sit around at home. ‘The holiday is sacred!’ A good example for all Russians. Better to stay at home than become accomplices in war crimes.”

Authorities reportedly determined Mankishev’s identity through the Russian military uniform still holding his remains more than a year later. The main intelligence directorate of Ukraine’s Defense Ministry published a list of Russian pilots who took part in attacks against Ukraine during the initial days of the war in early March 2022. That list included a senior lieutenant by the name of “R. Mankishev,” who appears to match the remains discovered Tuesday.

Authorities say he and the Mi-24 helicopter he was in charge of were shot down over the capital at the onset of the war.

Russia’s pro-war military bloggers have reacted with outrage to Ukraine’s announcement about Mankishev’s remains.

“They extracted [the body] precisely on May 9 and performed mockery and a photo session,” one popular Russian Telegram channel lamented.

A photo of a gravestone purported to belong to Mankishev and shared on Russian social media shows his date of death listed as Feb. 24, 2022.


  1. The reservoir is a lot less polluted now that this war criminal has been removed from it. Toss the remains in a garbage bag and send it back to russia.

  2. Just think, the reservoir had been contaminated with this dead cockroach for over a year! I hope no one was infected by its water.

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