The latest casualty in the Russian invasion of Ukraine
The world’s largest aircraft was recently hit by Russian airstrikes as it underwent repairs at an airport near Kyiv last week.
As the unjust invasion of Ukraine by Russia progresses, news of a rather hefty casualty was confirmed by Ukrainian state-run Ukroboronprom in a statement last Sunday. Holding the record for the world’s largest aircraft, affectionately named ‘Mirya’, the AN-225 was targeted according to Ukroboronpom owing to it standing as a “symbol of Ukraine’s aviation capabilities.” Originally designed during the reign of the Soviet Union, the 225 was initially used to transport Buran space shuttles, with the aircraft being re-serviced for oversized cargo operations after the fall of the USSR. Demonstrating once again the oxymoronic nature of his intentions, Putin seems bent on now destroying relics of the USSR instead of rebuilding them! In a blow to aviation enthusiasts everywhere, the initial rumours of the aircraft’s destruction were also confirmed by Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba, as he tweeted “Russia may have destroyed our ‘Mirya’. But they will never be able to destroy our dream of a strong, free and democratic European state.” Not all is lost, however. Ukroboronprom estimated that the 84-metre-long aircraft can be repaired, it’ll only take more than five years and cost close to $3 billion! A hefty sum, but one which the company claims it intends to make Russia pay every dollar of.
“The occupiers destroyed the airplane, but they won’t be able to destroy our common dream,” Ukroboronprom said in yet another example of the fantastic way Ukrainian entities have been able to keep the upper hand in the propaganda war between the two countries. You see, beyond lies and warmongering, Putin has been made out to be a villain of almost comic proportions on the global stage. Part of this is due to his general ineptitude and aggressively militaristic stance, but the majority owes itself to the textbook methods employed by Ukraine to present themselves as the indomitable underdog in the entire conflict. At almost every opportunity Ukraine has been able to spin world opinion heavily in its favour, while also keeping the morale of its citizens and troops high. President Zelenskyy has become a rallying figure for the entire nation, as well as for opposition to Russia’s actions from around the globe. Whether it’s through fighting with his soldiers, maintaining a public presence, or encouraging his people in an almost fatherly tone – Zelenskyy and Ukraine’s top brass have been able to easily dominate Putin in the war of words. The destruction of AN-225 is a great example of how they’ve managed to achieve this, turning Russian attempts to break moral into stirring rallying cries for the whole population, events to unite around instead of breaking the country’s spirit. While the world of aviation may have lost one of its record breakers, I am confident that just like Ukraine, Mirya will be rebuilt once this is all over and quickly returned to her former glory.