Ukraine: Antonov An-225 Mriya could have been saved

The Secret Service of Ukraine (SSU) is charging the former CEO of Antonov for failing to ensure that the Antonov An-225 Mriya would be saved from destruction
Dmytro Larin /

The Secret Service of Ukraine (SSU) revealed that, following its investigation into the destruction of the Antonov An-225 Mriya, the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Antonov did not give instructions to evacuate the aircraft to safety. 

SSU, which conducted its investigation jointly with the National Police of Ukraine (NPU), concluded that the An-225 was “in proper technical condition, which allowed it to fly outside Ukraine”. However, the former CEO of Antonov, Serhiy Bychkov, did not “give the appropriate instruction to evacuate” and “failed to ensure the timely extension of the aircraft insurance contract”. 

As a result, the state-owned company Antonov lost over UAH42 million ($1.1 million) in insurance payments. In total, the SSU has estimated that the Ukrainian state lost UAH 8.4 billion ($228.4 million) due to the destruction of the An-225 Mriya. 

“Based on the evidence collected, the former CEO of the company was served a notice of suspicion under Article 367.2 of the CCU (gross negligence that caused grave consequences),” added the SSU. “Comprehensive measures are underway to establish all the circumstances of the crime and bring the involved to justice,” the Service’s announcement of April 5, 2023, concluded. 

The Antonov An-225 Mriya was designed and built by Antonov to carry outsized cargo, including the Soviet-built spacecraft, Buran. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, the aircraft sat dormant until it was decided to revive it for Antonov Airlines to use for commercial operations, namely to carry outsized cargo. 

Mriya, or ‘The Dream’ in English, was destroyed during the initial phase of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, as it was stored at Kyiv Hostomel Airport (GML), where Antonov has been based. Antonov confirmed that it begun working on the second An-225 in November 2022, estimating that 30% of the parts from the now-destroyed aircraft could be reused. 

Antonov provided an initial estimate of €500 million ($545.3 million) to build the second An-225. 

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