Ukraine Vows To Rebuild World's Biggest Plane And Will Force Russia To Pay For It
| Last updated
Ukraine has vowed to rebuild the world's biggest plane after it was destroyed in the early days of the invasion.
And they're going to make Russia foot the bill.
The Antonov-225 Mriya - which means 'dream' in Ukrainian - was burnt down in late February.
The massive cargo plane measured a whopping 84 meters, boasted an 88 metre wingspan, and weighed a colossal 314 tonnes.
The beast also needed six engines to get it up in the air.
VIDEO: "Mriya" continues to live, no matter what. It is a symbol of unconquered Ukraine. pic.twitter.com/Hd6gVeu5L6— WAR IN UKRAINE 2022 (@WARUKRAINE2022) April 5, 2022
According to state arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom, Russia could receive a bill of more than £2.24 billion (AUD $3.86 billion) to fix the aeronautical giant.
"The Russians destroyed An-225 'Dream, it will be restored at the expense of the occupant," Ukroboronprom boss Yuri Gusev said.
"Russian invaders destroyed the flagman of Ukrainian aviation - the legendary An-225 'Dream'.
"Its restoration will cost more than $3 billion and will take a long time. Ukraine will put all its efforts to make these work paid by the state-aggressor.
He added that they may have destroyed Ukraine's giant of the sky, but the Russian Federation will never crush their real dream.
Georgian volunteers destroy a captured Russian flag in front of the AN-225 (Mriya) which was wrecked in Hostomel airport. pic.twitter.com/BJIu68XGLc— Woofers (@NotWoofers) April 3, 2022
"Russia destroyed our 'dream', but the dream of free from occupant Ukraine is impossible to destroy," he said.
"We will fight for our land and our home to a victorious end."
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba echoed Gusev's comments.
"Russia may have destroyed our 'Mriya', but they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state," Kuleba said.
The Foreign Minister then simply said 'we shall prevail' in their fight to expel Russian forces.
The plane was destroyed during a battle at Hostomel airport, about an hour outside Kyiv, in the early days of Putin's invasion.
R.I.P. Antonov An-225 Mriya.— Illia Ponomarenko 🇺🇦 (@IAPonomarenko) April 1, 2022
Thank you for your service. pic.twitter.com/UrxV3p7ynr
Two Antonov employees told Ukrainian radio Radio Svoboda at the time that they had witnessed the hanger housing the one-of-a-kind plane burn down.
The plane manufacturers responsible for building the enormous aeroplane, the Antonov Company, have since revealed they cannot give an update of the condition of the ruined aircraft until it is inspected by experts.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya was designed and built in Ukraine in the 1980s, originally designed by the Soviet Union when it controlled Ukraine as a Socialist republic.
If you would like to donate to the Red Cross Emergency Appeal, which will help provide food, medicines and basic medical supplies, shelter and water to those in Ukraine, click here for more information.