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Russia destroys Ukraine’s ‘dream’ plane, but citizens' hope lives on

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gestures while speaking to media with the world's largest airplane, Ukrainian Antonov An-225 Mriya.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy gestures while speaking to media with the world's largest airplane, Ukrainian Antonov An-225 Mriya. Copyright AP Photo
Copyright AP Photo
By Maeve Campbell
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The airport was also subject to significant damages, according to satellite images.

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The largest plane in the world has been destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The “legendary” Antonov AN-225 was held in high regard within the aviation industry and there is much sadness surrounding the attack. The aircraft dated back to the Soviet era and has been in service for more than 30 years, having been used to airlift humanitarian aid to other countries in the past.

Named ‘Mriya’, or ‘dream’ in Ukrainian, it was parked on an airfield nearby Kyiv when it was struck by “Russian occupiers”, according to a statement by Ukrainian state defence company Ukroboronprom.

"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!" Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted on Sunday.

Ukraine’s official Twitter account also posted a photo of the plane with the words, “they burned the biggest plane, but our Mriya will never perish”.

It will cost more than $3 billion USD (€2.7 billion) to restore the plane, says the defence company’s statement.

“The restoration shall be time consuming. Ukraine will make every effort to ensure that the aggressor state pays for these works,” it added.

Russian troops had taken control of the airport in Gostomel (or Hostomel) on Friday, which housed the AN-225 just outside Kyiv, according to reports by AP.

It will cost more than $3 billion USD (€2.7 billion) to restore the plane.

The airport was also subject to significant damages, according to satellite images released by US-based company Maxar Technologies.

Paul Chiasson/AP
The “legendary” Antonov AN-225.Paul Chiasson/AP

However, the Antonov company has not commented on the status of the aircraft and says further details will only be released after an examination by experts.

“Russia has destroyed our ‘Mriya’...but the dream of Ukraine to get free from the occupier cannot be destroyed,” says Yuriy Husyev, General Director of Ukroboronprom.

“We will fight for our land and our home until we win. And after the victory, we will definitely finish our new ‘Mriya’, which has been waiting for this in a safe place for many years.”

Video editor • Ben Anthony Horton

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