World’s largest plane destroyed in Russian invasion of Ukraine

The Antonov-225 cargo plane, which was the world’s largest plane, was destroyed by Russian forces at an airfield in Gostomel near Kyiv, according to Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

Kuleba confirmed the news on his Twitter account on Sunday, and said that “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!”

The plane, dubbed “Mriya,” or “The Dream,” was destroyed at the Antonov airfield in Gostomel, near Kyiv, where it was under repair, according to Ukrainian state-run news organization Ukroboronprom.

It said it would cost more than $3 billion to restore the plane and that the restoration would take around five years.

The statement from Ukroboronprom added that “our 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.”

The Antonov company said in a statement that until the AN-225 has been inspected by experts, it cannot report on the technical condition of the aircraft.

The destruction of the aircraft has not been independently verified. However, CNN reported that satellite images from Maxar Technologies show significant damage to part of the hangar in which the AN-225 is stored.

NASA’s Fire Information for Resource Management System also detected multiple fires at the airport, including at the hangar where the plane is kept, the news outlet said.

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