KYIV: The world’s biggest aircraft, the Antonov-225 cargo plane, was destroyed by Russian forces while it was under repair at an airfield in Gostomel near Kyiv, according to Ukraine’s state-run Ukroboronprom.
Restoration of the aircraft, known as Mriya, will take more than five years at a cost of over US$3 billion following the attack, Ukroboronprom said in a statement dated Sunday, adding that it aimed to ensure Russia covers the costs.
“Russia has hit the Mriya as a symbol of Ukraine’s aviation capabilities,” the company said.
Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba also tweeted about the aircraft.
The six-engine aircraft is 84m long and has a wingspan of about 88m. It first flew in December 1988 and holds records for transporting the biggest commercial cargo.
“The occupiers destroyed the airplane, but they won’t be able to destroy our common dream,” Ukroboronprom said. “Mriya will definitely be reborn.”