Pictures have emerged of the damaged wreckage of the world’s largest plane after it was burnt during a Russian attack on a Ukrainian airfield.
The images show the destroyed Ukrainian-made Antonov-225 Mriya, meaning the dream, at the Hostomel airport near Kyiv after it came under fire on Sunday.
The cargo plane, which has six engines and weighs 314 tonnes, could cost more than $3billion (£2.24billion) to repair, a sum Ukraine’s state arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom said it would try to get Russia to front up.
The ‘legendary’ plane was originally designed by the Soviet Union when it controlled Ukraine as a Socialist republic.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya was designed and built in Ukraine in the 1980s by the Antonov Corporation. The massive craft measures 275 feet (84 meters) long, with a 288-foot (88 meters) wingspan – almost twice the width of a traditional football field.
And it is capable of carrying a payload equivalent to ten battle tanks or some 418,000 pounds (189,601 kg).
The airfield near Kyiv could play a key role for Russia to send more arms to Ukraine.
In a statement retweeted by the Ukrainian President’s office, the country said: ‘We will rebuild the plane.
‘We will fulfill our dream of a strong, free, and democratic Ukraine.’