Antonov An-225 Mriya

27 February 2022

Hostomel, Kyiv region

The An-225 Mriya was the largest and heaviest cargo freight aircraft ever built.

It fascinated people all over the world. Thousands of people greeted it in airports across the world when it transported equipment or medical supplies as it was during the first months of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was an engineering masterpiece.

The Mriya set over 240 Guinness World Records. For instance, in 2001, it carried simultaneously four main battle tanks. The heaviest cargo ever transported by air was loaded onto An-225 Mriya, 190 tons. The Mriya’s heaviest payload was even more: 247 tons.

On February 24, when the Russian full-scale invasion began, the An-225 Mriya was in the hangar at the Antonov Airport in Hostomel. The airport was one of the first targets of the Russian forces. On the morning of that day, they immediately dispatched airborne troops to capture it. The fierce battles raged for the whole day, and the Ukrainian forces repelled the assault. However, in the following days, Russian reinforcements that arrived from Belarus outnumbered the Ukrainian troops. They had to retreat.

On February 27, Ukroboronprom, a state defense industry company, informed that the Mriya had been destroyed by a Russian airstrike. On March 4, Russian state-owned television channel Channel One broadcasted footage showing the wreckages of the airplane.

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