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SBU: Antonov company officials face 15 years for obstructing defense of Hostomel airport

by Kateryna Hodunova February 27, 2024 10:26 PM 2 min read
The Antonov An-225 Mriya cargo aircraft, destroyed by Russian forces while it was under repair at the airfield, during a handover of mobile anti-aircraft pick-up trucks by Herocar, as part of the Guardians of the Sky project, at Gostomel airfield, outside Kyiv, on April 1, 2023. (Andrew Kravchenko/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
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The former director of the Antonov State Enterprise, Serhii Bychkov, and the head of the Aviation Security Department, Oleksandr Netosov, face 15 years in prison for allegedly obstructing the country's defense, Ukraine's Security Service (SBU) reported on Feb. 27.

Security Service said that Bychkov and Netosov will stand trial for "obstructing the activities of the Armed Forces."

According to SBU statement, the Mriya aircraft was in good technical condition, and the crew was ready to be evacuated.

"During January and February 2022, the (Antonov) officials ordered to block access for the Ukrainian soldiers on the territory," SBU reported.

SBU said that before Russia’s all-out war, the Antonov workers refused to let the National Guard on the territory of the Hostomel airport to get prepared for its potential defense.

In April 2023, Bychkov and Netosov, were charged with negligence leading to the destruction of the world's largest cargo aircraft, AN-225 Mriya.

According to the investigation, the Antonov officials did not evacuate the Mriya despite the warnings of state authorities and knowledge that insurance coverage is running out. During the fight for the Hostomel airport, near Kyiv, he aircraft was destroyed.

The Counteroffensive: Russia’s failure to take Kyiv was luck and timing
Editor’s Note: This article was published by the blog “The Counteroffensive with Tim Mak” on Feb. 22, 2024, and has been re-published by the Kyiv Independent with permission. To subscribe to “The Counteroffensive,” click here. In the first hours of his full-scale invasion, Russian President Vladimi…

The negligence of the Antonov workers caused more than Hr 8.4 billion ($227.8 million) in damage to the Ukrainian state.

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