Ukrainian officials announced today that Russian troops had shot down the world’s largest cargo plane, the Antonov An-225, at the Hostomal airport near Kiev.
“Russian invaders have destroyed the main aircraft of the Ukrainian Air Force, An-225, at the Antonov airport in Hostomal, where it is being repaired,” said Defense Ministry team Ukroporonbrom.
The airport, located 25 kilometers northwest of Kiev, has been the scene of violent clashes since the Russian military began its invasion of Ukraine on Thursday because it was a strategic infrastructure.
“Russia has destroyed our ‘Miriam’. [“Sonho”, em ucraniano]. But it will never destroy the dream of a strong, independent and democratic European state. We will win! ” Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba wrote on the social networking site Twitter.
Landing gear with a length of 84 meters, 88 meters of wings and 32 wheels, the An-225, which was just one example, can carry 250 tons of cargo at a speed of 850 kilometers per hour.
The recovery of the plane will cost $ 3,000 million (over 2, 2,600 million) and could take more than five years, said Yuri Hussev, director general of the Ukrainian Defense Ministry.
The An-225 was built in Ukraine as part of a Soviet space program, the first aircraft to be flown to carry the “Puran” spacecraft in 1988.
After several years of inactivity due to lack of resources following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the project’s only current aircraft underwent a test flight at Hostomal (or Kostomel) in 2001.
Since then, it has been operated by cargo planes by the Ukrainian airline Antonov Airlines and was in high demand, especially at the beginning of the Kovit-19 epidemic, according to Agencies France-Press.
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