Larske, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia CommonsThe Mriya is not dead. The President of Ukraine has vowed to finish a second Antonov An-225, the world's largest cargo aircraft. The superplane known as Mriya, or "dream" in Ukrainian, was destroyed by Russian forces in February at an airport in Ukraine.Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has announced his intention to complete a second aircraft that had been started but never completed due to financial shortages.
The Antonov An-225 is a source of national pride in Ukraine and an absolute marvel among aviation fans worldwide.
Zelensky said in a statement the Ukrainian government was approached by the state-run defense consortium Ukroboronprom, the team behind Antonov about restoring the unfinished second plane.PREVIOUS STORY: Antonov An-225 Mriya, world's largest plane, reportedly destroyed at Ukraine airport
"In this case, it's not a matter of money, it's a matter of ambition," Zelensky said. "This is a question of the image of our country and all the excellent professional pilots who died in this war.
"How much they have done, and today we can already say how many lives of people who remained in Mariupol, especially in Azovstal they saved ... How many pilots gave their lives to bring everything there, from weapons to water. And how many wounded they took from there. A large number of these people died heroically."
The Mirya holds records for the transportation of maximum commercial cargo and the longest and heaviest single-cargo in the history of aviation.
UkrOboronProm previously said Russia would be held responsible to pay the cost of restoring the damaged Mirya, at an estimated cost of $3 billion.
The second Antonov An-225, set aside in the 1990s, is estimated to be 70% complete, according to Robb Report. The report estimated that the completion cost could be more than the $800 million estimated by Zelensky.