- The largest plane in the world – Ukraine’s Antonov-225 cargo plane – was destroyed by Russian strikes outside Kyiv
- The plan represents a symbol of pride to the Ukraine people and reports has it that it is used majorly for humanitarian purposes
- To fix the damage done, it will cost no less than N1.2 trillion and Ukraine authorities are adamant the Russians will pay for the repairs
The world’s largest plane, the Antonov AN-225, has been destroyed by Russia, authorities in Ukraine the Independent UK reports.
This was revealed by Ukraine’s minister for foreign affairs, Dmytro Kuleba, in a statement via its Twitter handle.
According to him, the aircraft was unique to the world; at 84 meters long (276 feet), it could transport up to 250 tonnes (551,000 pounds) of cargo at a speed of up to 850 kilometres per hour (528 mph).
Part of his tweet reads:
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“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!”
Also reacting to the news is Ukrainian company Ukroboronprom, which manages the Antonov company, stressed that it will ensure “aggressor” Russia pays for restoring the plane.
“Russian occupiers destroyed the flagship of Ukrainian aviation — the legendary AN-225 ‘Mriya’. This happened at the Antonov airfield in Gostomel near Kyiv, where the plane was,” the statement said.
“It will cost over $3 billion(N1.24 trillion) to restore the plane, the restoration shall be time consuming. “Ukraine will make every effort to ensure that the aggressor state pays for these works.”
Stories behind Antonov AN-225
According to a CNN report, the AN-225 was sometimes drafted to help airlift aid during crises in other countries.
In the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, it delivered relief supplies to the neighbouring Dominican Republic. Likewise, during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the plane was used to transport medical supplies to affected areas.
Its popularity in the aviation world meant it often drew large crowds wherever it went, particularly when it made star appearances at air shows.
Lagos-bound Dana Airplane makes emergency landing over bad weather
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that a Dana Air aircraft heading to Lagos on Wednesday, February 23, allegedly developed a fault midair and was forced to make an emergency landing in Abuja.
It was reported that although the said fault was not ascertained at the time of the incident, the pilot reportedly told passengers during the flight that the plane could not get to its destination.
After the emergency landing, the pilot said he took the decision for safety reasons.