Photos have emerged showing the wreckage of the world's largest plane after it was destroyed by Russia during an attack on a Ukrainian airfield following the invasion.
Pictures appear to show the damage to the plane – the Ukrainian-made Antonov-225 Mriya – at the Hostomel airport close to Kyiv after it came under fire on Sunday (February 27).
The cargo plane weighs 314 tonnes and has six engines, and measures almost twice the width of a traditional football field.
In response to the attack, Ukraine's state arms manufacturer Ukroboronprom said it will try to get Russia to pay the repair bill of more than £2.24 billion.
Ukroboronprom wrote on its Facebook page: "The Russian occupiers destroyed the flagship of Ukrainian aviation – the legendary An-225 Mriya. It happened at the Antonov airfield in Hostomel near Kyiv."
Images and video footage shared across social media show the severely burnt plane, with black smoke billowing from the wreckage.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya was designed and built in Ukraine in the 1980s when the country was still part of the Soviet Union.
In a statement retweeted by the Ukrainian President's office, the country said: "We will rebuild the plane.
"We will fulfill our dream of a strong, free, and democratic Ukraine."
At the time of the Russian invasion, the plane was unable to fly to safety as it was undergoing repairs at the airport.
According to CNN, multiple fires at the airport were detected by NASA – including at the hangar where the plane is stored, where the fire broke out at 11.13am local time last Sunday.
Ukroboronprom boss Yuri Gusev, 42, said: "The Russians destroyed An-225 'Dream', it will be restored at the expense of the occupant.
"Its restoration will cost more than $3billion (£2.27billion) and will take a long time. Ukraine will put all its efforts to make these work paid by the state-aggressor.
"The invaders destroyed the plane but they can't destroy our common dream. She will surely be reborn.
"Our task is to make these costs covered by the Russian Federation, which caused deliberate damage to Ukrainian aviation and freight aviation sector.
"Russia destroyed our 'Dream', but the dream of free from occupant Ukraine is impossible to destroy.
"We will fight for our land and our home to a victorious end."
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