Powered by no less than six massive turbofan engines, the Antonov An-225 "Mriya" is the world's biggest cargo plane. Photograph:( Twitter )
The largest plane in the world – Ukraine's Antonov-225 cargo plane – was destroyed by Russian strikes outside Kyiv on the fourth day of Moscow's invasion, Ukraine's state-owned Ukroboronprom group said Sunday.
Russia's troops battling on an airstrip near Kyiv today destroyed the world's largest aeroplane, Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, as Moscow continued its assault on its neighbour on the fourth day of its invasion.
Before it was purportedly torched at Hostomel Airport outside Kyiv due to Russian bombardment, the AN-225 'Mriya"—which means 'Dream' in Ukrainian—was produced by Ukrainian aeronautics manufacturer Antonov and qualified as the world's largest freight aeroplane.
"The biggest plane in the world, "Mriya" (The Dream), was destroyed by Russian occupants on an airfield near Kyiv. We will rebuild the plane. We will fulfill our dream of a strong, free, and democratic Ukraine, "tweeted Ukraine from their official Twitter handle, mourning the destruction of the aircraft.
The biggest plane in the world "Mriya" (The Dream) was destroyed by Russian occupants on an airfield near Kyiv. We will rebuild the plane. We will fulfill our dream of a strong, free, and democratic Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/Gy6DN8E1VR— Ukraine / Україна (@Ukraine) February 27, 2022
Along with the tweet, Ukraine's handle posted a picture of the plane with a caption that read: "They burned the biggest plane but our Mriya will never perish."
The aircraft was unique to the world. At 84 meters long (276 feet) it could transport up to 250 metric tons (551,000 pounds) of cargo at a speed of up to 850 kilometres per hour (528 mph).
It had been named "Mriya", which means "dream" in Ukrainian.
"This was the world's largest aircraft, AN-225 'Mriya'," Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted Sunday.
"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.
This was the world’s largest aircraft, AN-225 ‘Mriya’ (‘Dream’ in Ukrainian). 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! pic.twitter.com/TdnBFlj3N8— Dmytro Kuleba (@DmytroKuleba) February 27, 2022
Since launching a full-scale invasion of Ukraine on Thursday, Russia has been raining cruise missiles down on various Ukrainian cities.
On Sunday, a street battle erupted in Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, during which Ukrainian forces reclaimed control of the city from Russian troops who had broken through their defences.
(With inputs from agencies)