The world’s largest plane, the Antonov AN-225, was destroyed by Russia during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian officials confirmed on Sunday.
The enormous airplane, named “Mriya,” or “dream” in Ukrainian, was parked at an airfield near Kyiv when it was attacked by “Russian occupants.”
Weapons manufacturer Ukroboronprom estimated that restoring the “Mriya” would cost over US$3 billion (2.7 billion euros) and could take over five years.
“Our mission is to ensure that these expenses are covered by Russia, which deliberately inflicted damage on Ukraine’s aviation,” the group said.
“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!” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba posted on Twitter.
The aircraft was unique to the world. At 84 meters 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).