Muriya, the world’s largest plane and the pride of Ukraine destroyed by Russia

War in Ukraine-the disappearance and symbolic loss of “dreams”. This Sunday, February 27, Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted that the world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov An-225, was destroyed by Russian troops during a battle at Hostmel Airport, north of Kiev. confirmed. The first few hours of the attack.

This huge freighter had a particularly eloquent name. “Mriya” means “dream” or “desire” in Ukrainian. “But they will never succeed in destroying our dream of a powerful, free and democratic European state,” Dmytro Kuleba immediately added in his announcement.

An airplane that was a symbol of the Ukrainian nation and was proud until it participated in the parade of Ukraine Independence Day on August 24 every year. He played an important role in distributing masks around the world during the Covid-19 crisis.

It is also because of this symbolic aspect that he was targeted by Russian troops while advancing towards the Ukrainian capital, according to official Ukrainian newsletters. The airport of Hostmel, where he was stationed, is actually just about 20 kilometers from the city center. It was captured by Russian Airborne Troops on the night of February 24-25.

The Ukroboronprom Group has estimated the cost of repairing an aircraft at $ 3 billion in a press release confirming the destruction of an aircraft resulting from the cooperation of a Ukrainian aircraft manufacturer and China, which could take five years. I have.

Since its first flight in 1988, during the Soviet era, the AN-225 has been used specifically for humanitarian missions, thanks to its unrivaled transport capacity. Therefore, it can carry more than 250 tons of material. It was used, for example, to distribute masks during the Covid epidemic.

At the human level, Ukraine reported that about 200 civilians were killed and dozens of soldiers were killed in action, but did not disclose the exact number of casualties on Sunday. The United Nations recorded at least 64 deaths on Saturday between civilians and hundreds of thousands of people without water or electricity. For the first time this Sunday, Russian troops have admitted to recording human losses without giving numbers.

Since the outbreak of Russia’s invasion on Thursday, about 368,000 refugees have fled the fighting in Ukraine, more than half of them have invaded Poland, and the number is “continuing to increase,” according to UN and Polish officials.

See also HuffPost: The day after the battle, Kiev’s ghost town under the curfew