The airplane 'Mriya,' made by Ukrainian aeronautics company Antonov, was destroyed in Russian shelling.
The largest aircraft in the world was destroyed today by Russian troops battling on an airfield near Kyiv, Ukraine's Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmytro Kuleba said, as Moscow continued its assault on its neighbour during the fourth day of its invasion.
AN-225 'Mriya' -- meaning 'Dream' in Ukrainian -- was manufactured by Ukrainian aeronautics company Antonov, and qualified as the world's largest cargo aircraft, before it was reportedly burned at Hostomel Airport outside Kyiv due to Russian shelling.
"The biggest plane in the world "Mriya" (The Dream) was destroyed by Russian occupants on an airfield near Kyiv. We will rebuild the plane. We will fulfill our dream of a strong, free, and democratic Ukraine," tweeted Ukraine from their official Twitter handle, mourning the destruction of the aircraft.
Along with the tweet, Ukraine's handle posted a picture of the plane with a caption that read: "They burned the biggest plane but our Mriya will never perish."
Kuleba echoed a similar sentiment online. "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!" tweeted the Foreign Minister.
Antonov has said it cannot confirm what the present condition of the plane is. "Currently, until the AN-225 has been inspected by experts, we cannot report on the technical condition of the aircraft. Stay tuned for further official announcement," tweeted the aircraft manufacturing company.
Russia has been raining cruise missiles down on multiple Ukrainian cities ever since it launched a full-scale invasion of the country on Thursday.
Street fighting raged in Ukraine's second-largest city Kharkiv on Sunday, during which Ukrainian forces managed to take back control of the city from Russian troops, who initially pierced through their defences.
The capital Kyiv however, under a strict state-of-war curfew, continues to be on edge as the sounds of gunfire and blasts periodically reverberate through the city. As of Saturday, 198 civilians, including three children, have reportedly been killed in Ukraine's conflict, while 1,115 people have been wounded so far.
The invasion has triggered a backlash in Russia, with the police detaining more than 900 people at anti-war protests across 44 Russian cities on Sunday alone, raising the total detained since the assault started four days ago to over 4,000, independent protest monitoring group OVD-Info said.