During a Russian airstrike on the Antonov Airport in Hostomel, Ukraine, the world’s largest airplane, the Antonov An-225 Mriya, was destroyed.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba confirmed the destruction.
“This was the world’s largest aircraft, AN-225 ‘Mriya’ (‘Dream’ in Ukrainian). Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’,” Kuleba said on Twitter. “But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail!”
The An-225 was designed for the Soviet space program to transport the Buran space shuttle as well as bulky rocket components. It took to the air for the first time in 1988. It has six engines and 42 tires, allowing it to transport up to 640 tons, making it the most powerful and largest aircraft ever built.
With further review it I believe we can also further confirm this with the iconic tail section seeming to match the #An225 and the matching roof of the #Antonov factory building pic.twitter.com/JUUQoCthYZ
— OSINT_Canada (@canada_osint) February 27, 2022
Initially, the program intended to build two planes. Only one was finished before the Soviet Union fell apart.
The second giant’s unfinished airframe is stored in another hangar at Antonov Airport. Its present state is unknown.
Antonov Airport is owned by Antonov Airlines, a subsidiary of the Antonov aircraft manufacturing business, which used to operate the Mriya and other freighters.
This was the world’s largest aircraft, AN-225 ‘Mriya’ (‘Dream’ in Ukrainian). Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail! pic.twitter.com/TdnBFlj3N8
— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 27, 2022
The airport, which is located near Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital, was assaulted relatively early in Russia’s invasion of the country, which began on February 24, 2022. Russian paratroopers were allegedly ordered to the spot to construct a bridgehead for more Russian forces to be flown in.
The assault was originally repulsed by the Ukrainian National Guard, after which Dmitry Antonov, the captain of the An-225, stated that the Mriya was unharmed.
However, attacks on the airport continued, and the plane was apparently destroyed later that day. The Russians finally took possession of the facility on the afternoon of February 25, 2022.
The biggest plane in the world "Mriya" (The Dream) was destroyed by Russian occupants on an airfield near Kyiv. We will rebuild the plane. We will fulfill our dream of a strong, free, and democratic Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/Gy6DN8E1VR
— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) February 27, 2022
Update on the information of #AN225 "Mriya" aircraft: Currently, until the AN-225 has been inspected by experts, we cannot report on the technical condition of the aircraft.
— ANTONOV Company 🇺🇦 (@AntonovCompany) February 27, 2022