AN-225 Destroyed In Ukraine Battle


Ukraine’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba confirmed on Feb. 27 the world’s largest cargo aircraft, the AN-225 Mriya, was destroyed during a Russian attack on Gostomel/Antonov Airport in northern Ukraine on Feb. 24. There was an earlier report that the plane was safe on the ground in Georgia but Kuleba’s statement appears to refute that. Also, the last flight of the aircraft, according to FlightAware, was on Feb.5 when it flew to Gostomel from Denmark. A fuzzy satellite photo circulating online purports to show the giant aircraft on fire in its hangar at Gostomel.

The aircraft appears to have been destroyed in a fire started by missiles exchanged between Russian and Ukrainian attack helicopters in a dogfight over the airport. The airport is home for the aircraft manufacturer and the base for the Mriya. The aircraft first flew in 1988 and was originally intended to carry the Russian Buran space shuttle. It became a cargo carrier and was in demand all over the world to carry heavy and bulky loads too large for other aircraft. Its destruction has become another rallying point for the Ukrainian resistance.  “Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mriya,’” Kuleba wrote in a tweet. “But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state. We shall prevail!” he added.

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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  1. Last year my son and I flew my Warrior to KBGR (Bangor Maine) just to get a look at this one of a kind airplane – what a shame if it is really gone. It is my prayer that the people of Ukraine will be spared and that the country will somehow prevail. Putin is a thug.

  2. Yea, it is destroyed, and things world wide can get far far worse.
    It is easy to mindlessly call Putin a thug without turning on your brain and actually looking at the problem and what led to this mess.
    This began in 2014 when Obama’s Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton supported and funded Euro-terrorists to overthrow a pro-Russian government in Ukraine, and help setup a pro NATO puppet government to be put in place. Yea, they poked the bear for no good reason.
    Then the corrupt Democrats began to cash in on the new corrupt businesses, remember Biden’s crack head son playing bag man for ‘the big guy’? Gee, I wonder who that was…
    Putin held off and let Trump have a chance to look into Democrat corruption. When Trump did, the corrupt Democrats impeached him for no good reason… the Republicans sat on their hands while all this mess has been building.
    Putin tested the water by asking to be let into NATO and was of course refused. The EU only wants Russian gas and oil, not a real partnership. Then NATO offered Ukraine a place in NATO. Yea, that wasn’t going to fly. Putin isn’t stupid.
    Now the world is literally on the brink of nuclear war and no one really is paying attention yet.

    So, what if in 2014 Putin had come over to Canada and helped over throw the US friendly government and helped replace it with a Russian friendly government… then sent his crack head son to be on the board of oil companies in Canada that the US needed to get oil from… with some kick backs for ‘the big guy’….
    You can play dumb, but this is where the real world is at.
    We would be invading Canada right now.

    Putin is no thug. He just isn’t stupid.
    CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, isn’t really real news. It is Pravda on steroids.
    I don’t support him… but would have to say he is justified in his actions.
    If the nukes fly… thank a Democrat in Hell.

    • I agree with everything you’ve written, but this is not the proper forum to advance this discussion. All the best!

    • Well congratulations! You’ve been successfully indoctrinated by Putins Propaganda Narrative that they are spreading since 2010 via their official state-owned media outlets like RT, Sputnik as well as Facebook etc., like they’ve been heavily trying to influence public opinion in Europe.
      It is tragic to see that it works on some people in the West like you. If you were in Contact with Educated Russians, you’d not talk such nonsense.
      Putin IS a thug, a dictator and next to Xi Xinping, the worlds biggest danger right now. Nobody forced him into attacking russias brother-country.

      But yeah, wrong forum.
      I am sad for all UA people and AN-225.
      Greetings from frightnened Europe.

      • I’m sad that this incredible aircraft was caught in the crossfire.

        What’s your take on Putin’s innocent threat of a nuclear war, or his frequent use of various very lethal poisons on opponents both inside Russia and in other countries… which have resulted in serious long term injuries and deaths to British citizens and perhaps citizens of other countries? Or his very recent and very clear threats directed toward Finland and Sweden and any other country that dares to resist his wacky imperialist wars… just to name some of his recent peace loving moves internationally?

        • Here is some news… Ukraine is not a US territory. Go look at a map. Ukraine is not a part of the EU or NATO. Up until 2014 the country was pro Russia, until Obama assisted pro Euro-terrorists that over threw a legitimate government.

          The only reason for US intervention is to protect corrupt dealings by the Biden crime family in Ukraine.
          When Biden openly sent weapons to Ukraine he declared war with Russia. There is a question as to the lawfulness of this weapons deal. I’m sure it wasn’t in the budget, and I doubt congress approved it.

          So, yea, Putin put his nuke bombers up over Canada to circle with US bombers… Why do you think the airspace is closed over Canada?

          You may be dead before you get to read this because the US has an idiot in charge of the launch codes… or should I say, we and Putin have no idea who is running the United States.

      • I hope you will be banned from using this website. There are enough user forums on the internet where you can celebrate idiocy and get applause from like-minded people; I’m sure you know where to find those snake pits.

    • “… [Putin] is justified in his actions” – wow, look at you. If only the world leaders had consulted with you! Not only do you have trouble understanding the purpose of an aviation website, but you have no trouble justifying an invasion of a country, killing civilians and threatening world peace with use of nuclear weapons.
      Randomly flaming around idiotic, cherry-picked bits and pieces and justifying insane, despicable actions is just as insane and despicable. You need therapy, seriously.

    • You know what little Richard, Putin has made it clear several decades ago that the worst thing that happened to Russia was the break up of the Soviet Union. Try to remember that when you talk about his motivations for invading Ukraine. You can talk about the Democrats all you want, but you have a recent ex President impeached for blocking Ukrainian aid so he could get re-elected by digging up dirt on his opponent. You have a sovereign country being attacked, its citizens killed and destroying young lives in both countries so Mr Putin can satisfy his megalomaniacal ego and his desire to bring Russia back into the 1940s. Putin is so smart that he’s united the West and most of the rest of the civilized world against Russia. That’s quite an achievement! Congrats!

      Now, coming back to topic, the destruction of the AN-225 was extremely tragic. It had been put to wonderful use all these years.

  3. It’s especially sad when the topic is the loss of an amazing one-of-a-kind aircraft.

    I doubt it will ever happen, but I hope Russia is forced to pay to build a new one. It’s not just that it was a one-of-a-kind aircraft, but that it was also one that could do what nothing else could do and has served the world as a whole.

  4. Nice to see that Kancel Kulture is alive and well among the Komentariat.
    Hope you can find some sterile airspace in which you can be “comfortable,” Swifty.

  5. Some years ago as I was taxiing out in my 182 at London Ontario Canada I was able to witness the incredible AN-225 ingesting a locomotive and departing for somewhere in Europe.Now it’s gone,the result of man’s inhumanity to man,beyond stupid.
    Please keep politics off this wonderful forum,it’s not helpful.
    Stay safe

  6. Yars, I just think we should be focused on the article and aviation not on the political views of an attention seeking thread hijacker. Whether or not the hijacker is left, right or in the middle. There are plenty of places on the internet for such vents. I’m so conservative I make Donald Trump look like a “New Dealer”. But this is not the place for such postings.
    Again, this is an AVIATION forum, and as far as being comfortable with this guy in “my” airspace, he comes across to me to be someone who follows the rules when it suits him. Not a good plan in crowded airspace.
    Anyway, sorry for the loss of the plane.

  7. Easy people, geez. From some of the comments here, I am beginning to wonder just how many are consumed with politics and I am not just talking about RG. Give us a break here.

  8. You may not have to worry about flying… You may not have noticed the airspace over Canada isn’t closed as sanctions. We and Putin don’t know who is in charge of the launch codes, it ain’t Biden.
    The bombers are circling, both US and Russian.
    This is far more serious than the Cuban missile crisis… in fact Putin said Ukraine was his Cuban missile crisis.

    You are to dumb or ignorant to know this could all end in a literal flash.
    Biden openly armed a enemy of Russia. That is a declaration of war.
    Even Regan wasn’t that nuts.

  9. For those not worried about how this plane was destroyed… yea, it is a little important.
    Canadas airspace isn’t closed as sanctions, unless you are a complete idiot.
    Go look a a globe, the Russian bombers and ICBMs aren’t coming from the EU, and US bombers aren’t going that way either.

    You want to see what may be the last US air show, head north. The bombers are already up, but you may get to see the ICBMs launch or arrive.

    Putin said… this is his Cuba missile crisis.

  10. For those that say I’m in my mothers basement, she is dead and in ash form.
    If you don’t speak up now, you may never get another chance.
    Ignoring why this wonderful plane is destroyed is like ignoring accident reports and ADs that the spars on your aircraft need checking. This wonderful plane was built by the same people that have bombers in the air ready to turn you into ash form.

    Yea, you had better start talking. Call your rep now. Ask why the US is funding a war against Russia? Why are we even concerned with Ukraine? Is Ukraine a US territory? Are they a EU or NATO member?
    Here is the answer… NO.

    Why am I concerned… I worked for a US intelligence agency. What is going on now is showing a lack of intelligence that could end in a flash.

    • “ we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and success of liberty.”

      • Turns out the reports of the plane being destroyed was Ukraine Pravda.
        Freedom… ? The current Ukraine government is corrupt and illegitimate.
        The US would and has done the same exact thing..

  11. I had the glorious chance to tour the AN 225 from nose to tail one day at Newark Liberty Airport. I somehow managed to get paired up with the chief mechanic and a Russian translator. Cockpit, impressive yea, but the highlight was standing on the 100ft wide horizontal tail-plane of this magnificent machine. We crawled through several aft bulkheads and up a ladder. Just Wow!
    I imagined that someday a museum would be built around the AN225 for all the kids, dreamers and future pilots. Thanks Putin, you will go down in history as having failed your own country and ruined the worlds greatest heavy-lift aircraft.

    • Supposedly there is a second airframe “60-70% complete” but never got finished due to lack of funding, according to wikipedia. Hopefully there is a chance that the second partially-completed airframe can be salvaged so we can have an An-225 flying again (though obviously not for several years).

  12. About ten years ago, a client of mine contracted with the 225 to fly a large power transformer from Turkey to Las Vegas in the US. I watched them unload the huge transformer at LAS and was amazed by the sheer size and cargo capacity of the plane. It was the only one in the world that could have carried the cargo and it saved the client millions of dollars. I have a photo of the 225 parked next to a Southwest Airlines 737. It looks like a Boeing 747 parked next to a Cessna 172. Truly an amazing airplane and a real tragedy that it was destroyed.

  13. A WAR was the “root cause” of the destruction of this aircraft.

    Discussion of the root causes of aircraft tragedies seems like an appropriate topic for an aviation forum.

    If any dear reader dislikes the comments of any other, they are free to respond (as they should be) or to IGNORE that opinion and its author, as Gary wisely suggested.

    Banning others’ abilities to voice their own opinions is not a rational, adult course-of-action.

    • Just for your information, on this forum, free speech does not include name calling. If you define that as an adult course of action, we’re gonna disagree. Those comments will be deleted.

      • I violently agree with you, in that regard.
        And I missed the part where I engaged in name-calling.

  14. AVWEB: I apologize for regressing – after the past several years, my tolerance for nonsense has been lowered substantially. Please substitute “contributor” for “apparent rabies victim” in my previous submission. I would also suggest that you implore said “contributor” to review and amend his offensive, fantastical diatribes.

  15. The aircraft is not destroyed according to the owners.
    This report was Ukraine Pravda. But, it did exactly what they wanted… you feel sorry for them.
    This is a corrupt illegitimate government, and the US would and has done the same thing Russia is doing, including leveling city centers.