Ex-managers of SE ‘Antonov’ suspected of facilitating destruction of Mriya aircraft

Ex-managers of SE ‘Antonov’ suspected of facilitating destruction of Mriya aircraft

Former managers of the State Enterprise "Antonov" were served with notice of charges.  They are suspected of facilitating the destruction of An-225 Mriya aircraft in the early days of the full-scale Russian invasion.

“Under the procedural guidance of the Prosecutor General's Office, former director general of State Enterprise ‘Antonov’, acting deputy director general, and deputy director for aviation security were served with notice of charges of obstructing the lawful activities of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations (Part 2 of Article 27, Part 2 of Article 114-1 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine),” the Prosecutor General's Office posted on Telegram.

According to the investigation data, in January-February 2022, the National Guard of Ukraine was informed that the Russian Federation could escalate the military conflict in the territory of Ukraine.

In compliance with the order of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard had to organize measures to strengthen the protection and defense of certain objects, including the airfield in Hostomel, Kyiv region.

"However, officials of the state enterprise obstructed the legal activities of military personnel. They deprived them of the opportunity to take timely measures for the protection and defense of the airfield," the report reads.

The Prosecutor General's Office says that such actions of the suspects led to the death of a person, the infliction of bodily injuries of varying degrees of severity on two more persons, the destruction of An-225 Mriya aircraft, damage to other aircraft and vehicles of the enterprise.

"Control over a strategic military facility was lost with the subsequent temporary occupation of nearby settlements in Kyiv region," the report says.

Suspects face up to 15 years in prison.

As reported, one of the largest and most powerful aircraft in the world, the Ukrainian-made An-225 Mriya, burned down at the end of February last year in an air attack by Russian troops on the Hostomel airfield near Kyiv.

Mriya’s commander Dmytro Antonov said that the aircraft could have been saved. At the time of the Russian invasion, the State Enterprise “Antonov” had a reserve airfield leased in Leipzig, Germany. The crew was ready to take off from Hostomel to Germany on the morning of February 24 and even started the engines but they never received the takeoff command.

At the end of March 2022, the State Concern "Ukroboronprom" suspended Serhiy Bychkov, director general of State Enterprise “Antonov”. Later, Bychkov was finally dismissed from his post.

Last October, it became known that the Security Service of Ukraine started an inspection of employees of State Enterprise “Antonov” as part of the criminal proceedings regarding their possible cooperation with the Russian invaders that could have led to the destruction of Mriya aircraft.

Photo: Prosecutor General's Office

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