the fourth day of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the world’s largest cargo
aircraft, the Antonov AN-225, famously known as ‘Mriya’ (Dream), was destroyed
by Russian troops during an attack on an airport near Kyiv, Ukrainian
authorities announced Monday.

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legendary cargo aircraft was destroyed by the Russian forces after they entered
a Ukrainian airbase in Hostomel, where the aircraft was parked. Ukraine has not
confirmed the extent of damage Russia caused to the cargo carrier, but it said
that it will be rebuilding the plane, that was developed in 1988.

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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,”
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said.

Why is Antonov AN-225 famous?

AN-225 has a wingspan of over 290-feet. The unique plane was designed in the
1980s when Ukraine was still a part of the USSR. The plane, nicknamed ‘Mriya’
or ‘dream’ in the Ukrainian language, is very popular in aviation circles and
it attracts huge crowds wherever it goes because of its giant size. To date,
only one Antonov AN-225 was built by the Kyiv-based Antonov Company, the
defence manufacturers who originally designed the plane. 

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plane was designed as part of the USSR aeronautical programme to carry the
Buran, which was the Soviet version of the US Space Shuttle. After the collapse
of the Soviet Union in 1991, when the Buran programme was abandoned, the
aircraft was instead used to transport massive cargo loads.

giant aircraft first took off in 1988 and has been in action ever since. During
the COVID-19 pandemic, it was deployed for importing masks from around the
world and delivering relief supplies during natural calamities in neighbouring

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What happened to the plane?

Russia and Ukraine became two different nations and Antonov AN-225 became an
asset of Ukraine, it was always on the target of the Russian military. On
Friday, Russia claimed it had captured the Hostomel airfield, where the AN-225
was undergoing routine modification.

has hit the Mriya as a symbol of Ukraine’s aviation capabilities,” Ukraine’s
state-run defence manufacturer Ukroboronprom, which manages the Antonov
Company, announced on Sunday.

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to a CNN report, satellite images of the airfield show significant damage to
the hangar in which the plane is parked. NASA’s Fire Information for Resource
Management System reported a fire at the airport at around 11:13 am on Sunday.

Antonov Company, in a statement, said that it still “cannot report on the
technical condition of the aircraft.”

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Will Antonov AN-225 fly again?

the association of defence product manufacturers in Ukraine, announced that the
plane will be repaired at Russia’s expense at an estimated cost of $3 billion.
“The restoration is estimated to take over $3 billion and over five years,” the
company said.

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task is to ensure that these costs are covered by the Russian Federation, which
has caused intentional damage to Ukraine’s aviation and the air cargo sector,”
it added.