Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine started on February, 24, 2022, there have been numerous casualties on both sides. The casualties of both sides include military personnel, civilians, main battle tanks, armored vehicles, systems, missiles, launchers, airplanes, helicopters, ships, and more.
Among the material losses, there is really important aircraft that was destroyed in a Ukrainian airport. Of course, we are talking about the one and only An-225 Mriya, an enormous flying airplane constructed by the Ukrainian Antonov.
The Mriya's Destruction: How It Happened
When Putin declared war on Ukraine, the enormous An-225 airplane was at the Antonov Airport in Gostomel. There, the flying giant was undergoing repairs in order to be operationally ready. According to Ukraine's Ukroboronprom, the Mriya was not able to fly due to issues with one of its engines.
Although the city of Gostomel is northwest of Kyiv and not far apart from the Ukrainian borders, the airport was a target of significant interest for the war. As a result, it was one of the first targets of Moscow. During the third day of the military conflicts between the two countries, Russia hit the airport by air. Air-to-surface missiles damaged An-225 and set it on fire.
Ukraine's Response Over Losing The Aircraft
On February 27, Ukroboronprom reported the destruction of An-225 and the Russian occupation of the Antonov airfield. The same statements include that the cost of restoration is almost $3 billion, while it requires a period of almost five years. Besides the big price tag, the official statement insists that Russia will pay the expense and Ukraine will have its most legendary airplane back.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine confirmed the destruction of the aircraft on Twitter. In his tweet, the minister added 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."
News Footage Reveals The Aftermath
According to a video that went public, the Antonov An-225 is still in the hangar of the Antonov airport in rough shape. The cockpit is missing, but the port side wing is almost intact.
The Antonov An-22 Mriya was the largest airplane in the world and served as a strategic airlifter for countless missions during its career. In addition to Ukroboronprom, the Ukrainian government also said that the 275-feet long airplane will come back to life.
Mriya, which means 'Dream,' has a wingspan of 290 feet and features six Progress D-18T turbofans engines that provide it with a top speed of 530 mph. Its cruising speed is 500 mph. The aircraft started serving in 1989 and three years later it passed to Ukrainians after the Dissolution of the Soviet Union.