KEY POINTS

  • Serhiy Parkhomenko was killed in the Zaporizhzhia region on May 14
  • He died while working as "the soul of the aviation unit"
  • A video and photo of the infant paying last respects to his dad have gone viral on social media

A young Ukrainian fighter pilot was killed during a combat mission against Russia last week after his plane was shot down by the enemies. A heartbreaking photo of a 2-month-old baby attending his father's funeral has since gone viral on social media.

The 25-year-old fighter pilot, Serhiy Parkhomenko from the city of Vinnytsia, was killed in the Zaporizhzhia region in eastern Ukraine on May 14. A photo taken during his funeral showed a man dressed in military uniform carrying the infant in his arms to his hero dad's photo kept on an easel in what appears to be a church, India Times reported.

The picture, shared by Ukraine.ua on Instagram with the caption "Heros never die," went viral and fetched more than 23K likes since it was posted Monday.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Ukraine.ua (@ukraine.ua)

 

Several social media users expressed their grief at the tragic loss of the young fighter and shared their condolences.

"What a tragic loss of such a young man. Glory to the hero," one person wrote. "So very sad that this little one isn't going to know their dad," another wrote.

"Freedom isn't free, it's paid for in blood. We will never forget all the lives taken by Russia," another user commented below the heartwrenching post.

A video showing MiG-21 fighter jets flying over Vinnytsia to offer tribute to the young assault pilot has also surfaced on social media. The South East Military Veterans, which shared the video on Twitter, said Parkhomenko destroyed 20 tanks, 50 BBMs, 55 cars, 20 fuel tanks and hundreds of Russians.

The video shows soldiers covering Parkhomenko's body in the Ukrainian flag and laying red and white roses on his coffin to pay their last respects. His infant son can be seen in a stroller.

 

Commander of the Ukrainian Air Force General Mykola Oleshchuk said the pilot died while working as "the soul of the aviation unit."

"Together with his comrades, he developed new approaches in the tactics of aviation in modern warfare, was the soul of the aviation unit, the commander-leader, who led his unit into battle," Oleshchuk said during Parkhomenko's funeral, reported local news outlet Army Inform.

Ukrainian soldiers have launched a counter-offensive against Russian invasion forces in the east of the country Ukrainian soldiers have launched a counter-offensive against Russian invasion forces in the east of the country Photo: AFP / Yasuyoshi CHIBA