Zelensky Wants To Build Second An-225


Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky says he wants to see a partially built An-225 finished to replace the one destroyed in fighting in Hostomel early in the war with Russia. It will cost about $800 million to finish the second aircraft, which has been stored in good condition since getting to about 70 percent complete in 1994. In a speech to students, Zelensky suggested the country can’t afford to not build the aircraft. “But in this case, it’s not a matter of money, it’s a matter of ambition,” he told the students. “This is a question of the image of our country and all the excellent professional pilots who died in this war.”

Zelensky didn’t offer any details on how Ukraine would come up with the money but presumably it’s a post-war project aimed at boosting national pride and honoring the pilots who have served in the war. “How many pilots gave their lives to bring everything there, from weapons to water. And how many wounded they took from there,” he said. “A large number of these people died heroically. To build a MRIYA for the sake of the memory of heroes is the right state position.”

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. Would be great to see, but appears to be nothing more than political point-scoring. Unlikely to actually occur.

  2. Wasn’t there talk of this some years ago? The second airframe was apparently stored a whole lot better than the Buran. Cameron G, maybe, of course, but I suspect Zelensky is less cynical than we’re used to. Especially right now.

  3. MRIYA was built by the USSR. Without those technologies it is not realistic to complete it. If you build it with the new technology, you will get a Boeing.

  4. Not a problem. The American taxpayers will pony up and I’m sure the Big Guy will get his cut.

  5. Once upon a time entire counties were inspired to achieve great things “before the decade is out.” I hope Ukraine has that same spirit today.

  6. Sure , why not. After all the US will pay for it. Zelensky has no money. Even the 40 billion we just gave him will be used to pay the salaries of his soldiers because Ukraine is broke.

  7. A war can change a nations priorities with fresh ideas for its future survival. He’s seeking to inspire the students and others of his country “To build a MRIYA for the sake of the memory of heroes is the right state position.”

    Zelensky is trying to cover all aspects of their immensely challenging post-war recovery, with this effort being just one. He’s an inspiration as a leader in my book, for his country, in their time. The aircraft is merely a tool to inspire the citizens to keep focused after such a destructive period in their lives, and when completed, will inspire the world.

    Besides, Musk or Bezos could finance the completion from financial rounding errors,…you boys listening?

    The money needed is a rounding error to Musk or Bezos; maybe they’re listening.

  8. Like others have said, Biden will put us further in debt to pay for it. Ukraine is no different than Russia. Both corrupt as hell.

  9. Well Bezos sure can, after all the money he makes from those terrible cloths he sells me he should do something good for the rest of us. Building an icon of aviation is not a bad way of doing it.
    And while at it donate to me a new Eclipse jet I sure can use it in my air charter business.