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Ukraine conflict: Ukraine reports An-225 destroyed as air losses mount for both sides

Seen at the ILA Berlin Airshow in 2018, the An-225 was reported destroyed on 27 February. (Janes/Gareth Jennings)

Ukraine reported the destruction of the Antonov An-225 Mriya airlifter on 27 February, with the Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba saying that the largest aircraft in the world was destroyed in a Russian strike on Hostomel Airport (also known as Antonov International Airport) on the northwestern outskirts of Kyiv.

Kuleba referred to the world's only six-engined airlifter in the past tense in a statement posted on his official Twitter account, noting, “This was the world's largest aircraft, An-225 ‘Mriya' (‘Dream' in Ukrainian). 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!”

The Kyiv Post confirmed the aircraft's destruction at about the same time, noting that it “was burned” following a Russian attack. The aircraft's Antonov Company owner had stated that it could not comment on the condition of the aircraft until it had conducted an inspection, however, with no further news forthcoming and with camera footage showing the burning aircraft inside its purpose-built hangar, it appears that the later pronouncements of its destruction are correct.

The destruction of the An-225 represents the highest profile aircraft loss in the conflict since Russia launched its renewed invasion of Ukraine on 24 February. However, in the four days since fighting began, numerous aircraft losses as well as various other losses have been reported for both sides, although only a comparatively small portion of these can be confirmed by videographic and/or photographic evidence.

For Ukraine, losses confirmed so far by Janes

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