The world’s largest aircraft, the Antonov AN-225, has been destroyed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
According to CNN, the enormous aircraft, named “Mriya,” or “dream” in Ukrainian, was parked at an airfield near Kyiv when it was attacked by Russian forces.
Ukrainian authorities said that they would rebuild the plane and will continue to defend the country.
On Twitter, Ukrainian Foreign Minister, Dmytro Kuleba wrote: “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!”
A tweet from the Antonov Company said it could not verify the “technical condition” of the aircraft until it had been inspected by experts.
Ukrainian State defense company, Ukroboronprom, which manages Antonov, on Sunday, in a statement, confirmed that the aircraft had been destroyed, but would be rebuilt at Russia’s expense.
“The restoration of Mriya is estimated to take over 3 billion USD and over five years,” the statement read.
“Our task is to ensure that these costs are covered by the Russian Federation, which has caused intentional damage to Ukraine’s aviation and the air cargo sector,” it said.
The director of Antonov Airlines added that one of the engines was dismantled for repairs and the plane in Kyiv was not able to take off that day, although the appropriate commands were given.
The largest plane was in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic as a cargo plane.