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Ukraine's Security Service completes investigation into destruction of Mriia plane: accused face up to 15 years in prison

Tuesday, 27 February 2024, 19:29
Ukraine's Security Service completes investigation into destruction of Mriia plane: accused face up to 15 years in prison
Wreckage of Antonov An-225 Mriia cargo aircraft. Photo: Kateryna Mykhailova, Global Images

Ukraine’s Security Service (SSU) has concluded an investigation into the destruction of an Antonov An-225 Mriia cargo aircraft and has gathered evidence to convict Serhii Bychkov, the former general director of the Antonov State Enterprise, and Oleksandr Netosov, the head of its aviation security unit. The Mriia ("Dream"), the world's largest transport aircraft, was destroyed in its hangar by the Russians during the fight for Hostomel airfield on 27 February 2022.

Source: Security Service of Ukraine on Telegram

Quote: "The former officials' criminal actions resulted in the temporary capture of a strategically important airfield during the Battle for Kyiv and the destruction of the Mriia AN-225 aircraft.


SSU investigators have completed the pre-trial investigation and submitted the indictment to the court.

The investigation found that on the eve of the full-scale invasion by the Russian Federation, the accused refused to allow servicemen of the National Guard of Ukraine onto the territory of Hostomel airport to prepare to defend it."

Details: According to the SSU, the officials had barred the Ukrainian military from entering the facility's territory between January and February 2022.

Based on the evidence gathered, the accused have been charged under Articles 27.2 and 114-1.2 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (obstruction of legitimate activities of the Ukrainian Armed Forces and other military formations).

The accused have been remanded in custody and face up to 15 years in prison. 


  • On the first day of Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, the Russians destroyed the An-225 Mriia aircraft, the flagship of Ukrainian aviation, at Hostomel. As well as the Mriia, there were five other aircraft at the airfield: an An-74, An-26, An-124, An-132 and an An-22. The first two were completely destroyed, while the others were badly damaged.
  • The Antonov state-owned enterprise immediately announced that the Mriia would be rebuilt. However, it was not clear what this would cost: Ukroboronprom (Ukraine Defence Industry) and its representatives estimated the cost at between US$120 million and US$3 billion. Antonov designer Anatolii Vovnianko, however, put the actual cost at around US$250-300 million.
  • The Security Service of Ukraine served the former CEO of Antonov, the acting deputy CEO and the deputy director for aviation security with notices of suspicion for obstructing the lawful activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, which led to the seizure of the Hostomel airfield and the destruction of the An-225 Mriia aircraft.

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