Russian forces destroyed the world’s biggest cargo aircraft, the “An-225 Mriya”. The aircraft was stored at Ukraine’s Hostomel airfield.
Russian soldiers destroyed the world’s biggest aircraft, which was located at Ukraine’s Hostomel airfield. The aircraft An-225 Mriya, which was once nicknamed “Dream,” was reduced to metal scraps after the strikes of the ingoing war.
The aircraft was kept at Antonov International Airport, also known as Hostomel Airport. The Russian airstrikes destroyed the airport. The airport was located just outside of Kyiv and was one of the invasion’s early strategic targets. Discarded Russian military vehicles, wasted ammunition, and unexploded bombs are now strewn over the airfield. The Russians’ toll on Ukrainian soldiers is still being calculated.
From there, Russian soldiers intended to seize the airport and launch an attack on Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv, from there. However, Ukrainian soldiers ruined their plans by burning the Irpin bridge, which connects Hostomel and Kyiv. A relief and rescue team attempted to access the Hostomel airport, according to a ground report from the Irpin bridge.
On Monday, Ukraine’s Defence Minister stated that “the country’s military forces had retaken control of the Hostomel airport near Kyiv.” Following their victory, Ukrainian soldiers hoisted the Ukrainian flag above the airport.
“Russian invaders destroyed the flagship of Ukrainian aviation, the AN-225” at the Antonov airport in Gostomel near Kyiv, the group said in a statement. The aircraft was unique in the world. At 84 metres long (276 feet), it could transport up to 250 tonnes (551,000 pounds) of cargo at a speed of up to 850 kilometres per hour (528 mph).
Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted Sunday, “This was the world’s largest aircraft, the AN-225 ‘Mriya’.” 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! “, he added.
Gostomel airport has seen violent clashes since the start of Russia’s invasion, launched by President Vladimir Putin. The Russian army has said it is trying to seize strategic infrastructure. Weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom estimated that restoring the “Mriya” would cost over $3 billion. “Our mission is to ensure that these expenses are covered by Russia, which deliberately inflicted damage on Ukraine’s aviation,” the army group said.
The An-225 made its first flight in 1988 as part of the Soviet aviation programme. After years of not flying during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the last existing version took a test flight near Gostomel, about 20 kilometres from Kyiv, in 2001. It had been used for cargo flights by Ukraine’s Antonov Airlines and was in great demand at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
(Sources- India Today, TheEconomicsTimes, INSIDER)