Russian forces retreat from Antonov airport, the home of An-225 Mriya

Jacdec / Twitter

Reports suggest that on March 31, 2022, Russian forces  retreated from Hostomel, a city just north of Kyiv. 

The city houses  Hostomel airport, the home base of Antonov company and the place where the Antonov An-225, the largest transport aircraft in the world, is stored. 

The Armed Forces of Ukraine have not announced the capture of Hostomel yet, but numerous videos surfaced on social media showing Ukrainian soldiers entering the city. 

Additionally, information on social media channels associated with Russian military suggests the units that held Hostomel Airport have been ordered to retreat.  

During the evening of March 31 Youtube user BABYLON’13 posted drone footage showing what appears to be the abandoned Hostomel airport. Previous videos of the airport indicated that large contingents of Russian forces were entrenched there.  

BABYLON’13’s video shows trenches and other encampments scattered around the territory of the airport. The wreck of the Antonov An-225 can also be seen, as well as extensive damage to hangars and other structures of the airport. 

However, the concrete hangar in front of the wreck – where the second, unfinished airframe of the An-225 is reportedly housed – appears to be standing, despite numerous holes in its walls. 

Russian forces attempted to capture Hostomel airport on February 24, the first day of the invasion. According to numerous reports, the airport changed hands several times in the subsequent days.  

Several days later the first pictures and video footage showing the destroyed An-225 were posted online. 

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