The "Russian female fighter pilot", Captain Balislava, who bombed "the hell out of" the Islamic State (Isis) terrorists in Syria, is not a fighter pilot. Moreover, she is not a Russian either. It has now emerged that the "beautiful blond Russian" is actually a former Brazilian lingerie model.
The photo of the so-called Russian pilot, dressed in military fatigue holding a helmet while lying next to a fighter plane, had gone viral overnight as several reports claimed last week that she was Captain Balislava.
Captain Balislava suddenly became a cult figure, with hundreds of social media users falling madly in love with the blonde when the media carried reports with her photograph posing as a fighter pilot.
Several foreign and Arab media carried the photograph despite the fact that the model in the viral photo was wearing the pilot's uniform with the insignia of the Brazilian Air Force Academy.
One such report noted: "Kind of ironic that [Isis] is being blown apart by a woman air force fighter! The only thing better than watching ISIS get the hell beat out of them, is knowing a female is doing it...because as you know, terrorists think they don't go to Heaven if a woman kills them!"
However, it was later found that Captain Balislava in all probability does not even exist and the viral photo was that of Ana Hickmann, 34, a former lingerie model from Brazil who has worked for brands like Victoria's Secret, Nivea, L'Oreal, Clairol and Bloomingdales.
Hickmann, who has appeared in the South African version of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and on the covers of Brazilian Vogue, Marie Claire and Elle, also co-hosts a TV show.
Hickmann once held "the model with the longest legs" title in the Guinness Book of World Records with her 46.5 inch legs. She is married and has one kid and currently lives a much peaceful life in Brazil.