A little way southwest of Kyiv is a curious outdoor exhibit: a large plane bearing the number USSR-8661. Currently it stands amid the trees (in the middle of nowhere, you might say) on concrete blocks. However, if all goes to plan, the plane will one day form part of a large-scale aviation museum.
Of course, this is no ordinary aircraft: it was used by Leonid Brezhnev himself. The Soviet politician was not a fan of planes, but he travelled aboard this one six times (it was his belief that exactly six flights could be made in one plane). The aircraft consists of three compartments – a passenger compartment with six seats, a toilet, and a kitchen.
The VIP plane was almost written off for scrap, but in 2010 it was transported from Mykolaiv to the village of Hlevakha (near Vasylkiv), where it stands to this day. Any visitor can approach and take photos, but it isn’t yet possible to go inside. However, the local authorities have big plans for the plane: they plan to set up an aviation park with museums, an aircraft exhibition, a hotel, a playground, a lake, and a restaurant on board a plane. However, for now, all this remains just an idea: the plane is still waiting in the wings.
If you’re keen to catch sight of this piece of history that once carried legendary passengers, you can find Brezhnev’s plane (IL-62) by the Odessa highway, near the village of Hlevakha.