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Famed Ukrainian pilot known as ‘Juice’ killed in crash

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Last week, we published our analysis of how F-16 Fighting Falcons may ultimately shift the ways in which Ukraine fights in the sky, and among the list of primary sources we pulled from were statements by famed Ukrainian MiG-29 pilot Major Andrii Pilshchykov, who most of the internet knows by his callsign, Juice.

Not long after our story went up on Sandboxx News and the associated video went live on YouTube, we received word that Juice was one of three pilots tragically killed in a training incident over Ukraine’s Zhytomyr region.

Shortly thereafter, Ukraine’s Ministry of Defence posted the following about Juice’s death:

“A tragic loss. On August 25th, two L-39 military jets collided over the Zhytomyr region. Three pilots of the Ukrainian Air Force lost their lives. One of them was Major Andrii Pilshchykov, a 2nd Class pilot and a recipient of the Order of Courage, 3rd Class, known by the callsign ‘JUICE’. We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the departed. We are grateful for their service. They will be remembered both in the skies and on the ground,” the ministry wrote.

While we didn’t know Juice personally, his frequent interactions with the press, including his first-hand accounts of Russian air warfare tactics, provided the world with a unique insight into how this war has been unfolding. As you listen to or read Juice’s interviews, it’s hard not to find yourself feeling as though you know the man.

If you feel the same way, then we highly recommend checking out this extensive piece from The Warzone, penned by Tyler Rogoway and Stetson Payne. The Warzone’s team interacted with Juice on more than one occasion, and aside from the high quality of their analysis, they also do a great job of highlighting the humanity of the pilot: the man so many of us have come to know as Juice.

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Alex Hollings

Alex Hollings is a writer, dad, and Marine veteran.