Destruction of the largest plane in the world: two ex-officials arrested in Ukraine

World's largest plane destroyed: two ex-officials arrested in Ukraine


Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) announced on Friday the arrest of two former aviation officials for their role in the downing of the world's largest plane, the Antonov-225 'Mriya', at the start of the invasion. Russian in February 2022. 

The former director of the aircraft manufacturer Antonov and his head of the security service were arrested and an assistant to the director who “is hiding from justice is the subject of a wanted poster, the SBU said on Telegram.

“Those who have de facto helped the enemy to destroy one of the symbols of Ukraine must suffer a deserved punishment”, has said SBU chief Vassyl Maliouk, quoted in the statement.

According to the SBU, the three ex-officials “prohibited the Ukrainian military from building fortifications” on Gostomel airfield, near Kyiv, in January and February 2022, which then became the scene of fierce fighting.

World's largest plane destroyed: two ex-officials arrested tés in Ukraine

World's largest plane destroyed: two ex-officials arrested in Ukraine

“These criminal acts led to the temporary invasion of this strategic airfield and neighboring localities and the destruction of the Mriya plane” (“dream” in Ukrainian), whose the only copy was on this site, the organization said.

Accused of having “impeded the legitimate activities” of the army, the three men risk up to 15 years in prison, according to the same source.

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At the end of February 2022, the Russian army destroyed the only copy of the “Mriya”, the largest plane in the world manufactured by Antonov, during the fighting at Gostomel airfield, about twenty kilometers northwest of Kyiv.

This unique device in the world was 84 meters long and could transport up to 250 tons of cargo at a speed of up to 850 km/h.

Initially built as part of the Soviet aeronautical programs, in particular for transporting the Buran space shuttle, the An-225 made its first flight in 1988.

After several years of inactivity due to lack of resources following the fall of the Soviet Union, the only existing example had made a test flight in 2001 at Gostomel.

It has since been operated by the Ukrainian airline Antonov Airlines.

This aircraft played a essential role in the distribution of masks around the world during the COVID-19 crisis, and regularly served with NATO and the x oil companies for high volume cargo.