Russian police and soldiers keep watch in front of a German Leopard 2A6 tank captured in Ukraine. (Photo by Contributor/Getty Images)

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Russians flaunt captured Western military equipment


In the Russian capital, people are being treated to a show of the spoils of war. Western military material given to Ukraine but captured on the battlefield is on view at Poklonnaya Hill in Moscow for citizens to visit over May.

A wide array of seized and destroyed military vehicles and equipment from Ukraine and its allies are displayed in an exhibition organised by the Russian defence ministry.

May 1, or Labour Day, is a major holiday in the country, while on May 9, Victory Day over the Nazis’ is celebrated, making the month an ideal opportunity for the Kremlin to promote what it believes is an impending victory over Ukraine and its Western allies.

A Russian police officer looks at a captured Ukrainian tank. (Contributor/Getty Images)
People view more military vehicles captured from Ukraine. (Contributor/Getty Images)
Russians stroll past military vehicles seized in Ukraine. (Contributor/Getty Images)
A German-made Leopard 2A6 main battle tank, captured by Russian troops during Russia’s ‘special military operation’ in Ukraine, draws spectators. (EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV)
Visitors look at an Ukrainian drone at the Trophies of Russian Army exhibition. (Contributor/Getty Images)

Western audiences are often told how superior their own countries’ military equipment is compared to Russia’s but, with shows such as this, the Kremlin is fighting back in the propaganda war.

The Russians even went so far as to weigh down the main barrel on a Leopard tank with a crane, perhaps suggesting they are comfortable with destroying Western equipment rather than reusing it on the battlefield against the Ukrainians.

Crowds examine military vehicles captured by Russian troops. (EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV)
This US-made main battle tank M1 Abrams has seen better days. (EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV)
US-made M2 Bradley (C) infantry fighting vehicles lined up for the crowds. (EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV)
The windows of this armoured vehicle, donned with UK and NATO flags, show signs of having taken heavy gunfire. (Contributor/Getty Images)

The exhibition showcases more than 30 pieces of military equipment manufactured in various countries, including the US, UK, Germany, France, Turkey, Sweden, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Finland, Australia, Austria and Ukraine itself.

All of the vehicles are said to have been captured during the fighting in Ukraine.

Images of Russian soldiers and the inscription ‘Our Defenders’ at the exhibition. (EPA-EFE/YURI KOCHETKOV)
This billboard shows the image of a Russian soldier at the front. (Contributor/Getty Images)
A bus stop with a military propaganda poster showing senior lieutenant of Russian armed forces Mikhail Kharazov, a who took part in the military invasion of Ukraine, with sign “Valour and courage”. (Contributor/Getty Images)

Normally, the effects of the war are not especially showcased in big cities in the West of Russia or in Moscow. Usually, only a few “hero” posters and advertisements for contracts with the army remind Russian people of the battle in Ukraine.

Now, they are being given a major visual impression the war is going well.

Traditional May 1 celebrations also took place alongside the military exhibition.

Russian Communist Party member and Moscow City Duma member Yekaterina Yengalisheva (L) looks on during the Rally of Communists, with a flag of Lenin in the background. (Contributor/Getty Images)
As in the West, most communists support the Palestinians in the conflict with Israel. (Contributor/Getty Images)
Civilians with a Soviet-style banner that reads: “No fascism, no capitalism”. (Contributor/Getty Images)
A Russian Communist Party supporter wearing a T-shirt with picture of Soviet leader and mass-murderer Joseph Stalin at a rally while celebrating the International Worker’s Day. (Contributor/Getty Images)