Russian forces destroy Antonov 225, the largest aircraft in the world, and larger than the Airbus A380

Russian forces destroy Antonov 225, the largest aircraft in the world, and larger than the Airbus A380

It is a blow to the aviation community and the logistics sector that has used it extensively during the Covid-19 crisis. The Ukrainian cargo plane, called Meriva (“dream” in Ukrainian), the largest aircraft in the world, much larger than the Airbus A380, was destroyed by Russian strikes near Kiev.

The state group Ukroboronprom noted that “Russian invaders destroyed the Ukrainian aviation ship An-225” at Gostomel Antonov Airport, where the plane was “undergoing repairs”.

Unique device in the world

This unique device in the world with its six reactors, the length of which is 84 meters, can transport up to about 250 tons of cargo at a speed of up to 850 km / h, was a real legend in the sky of the world. The An-225 was initially built as part of Soviet aviation programs, notably to carry the space shuttle Buran, and made its maiden flight in 1988. After the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s, it remained inactive for several years before returning to service in the early 2000s. The first of the twenty-first century for cargo flights. It has since been operated by Antonov Airlines, a Ukrainian carrier for on-demand cargo flights. During the Covid-19 crisis, and especially at the beginning of the pandemic, the device was in high demand to transport masks or medical equipment. In April 2020, it landed for the first time in France since 2014, more precisely at Vatry Airport to unload cargo from China.

Violent clashes at Gostomel airport

“Russia has destroyed our ‘Maria’. But it will not be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We will win,” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Twitter.

The announcement comes at a time when Gostomel Airport has been the scene of violent clashes since the start of the invasion of Ukraine on Thursday by the Russian military trying to seize this strategic infrastructure. Ukroboronprom estimated that the restoration of “Mriya” will cost more than 3 billion dollars and will take more than five years. The group stressed that “our task is to ensure that Russia covers these expenses, which deliberately caused damage to Ukrainian aviation.”

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