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Media: Russia sets up display of captured Western military hardware in Moscow

by Nate Ostiller and The Kyiv Independent news desk May 1, 2024 8:16 PM 2 min read
Russia's Defense Ministry displays a collection of Western weapons and military equipment seized from the Ukrainian army, including Leopard and M1 Abrams tanks, in Moscow, Russia, on May 1, 2024. (Ali Cura/Anadolu via Getty Images)
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Russia has created a display of Western military hardware in a World War II memorial in Moscow, drawing large crowds, Reuters and other media outlets reported on May 1.

Western allies, including the U.S., have given Ukraine significant amounts of military hardware. It is unclear exactly how many pieces of Western military equipment have been captured or destroyed by Russia since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, as Ukraine rarely comments on its own losses.

According to the BBC, more than 30 Western-made armored vehicles were on display, including a U.S. Abrams tank.

The AP wrote on April 25 that, according to two U.S. military officials, Ukrainian forces had pulled Abrams tanks from the front lines due to the high risk of detection by Russian drones.

According to the U.S. officials who spoke to the AP, Russian surveillance drones and hunter-killer drones have changed the situation on the ground substantially, increasing the vehicles' risk of detection.

Five of the 31 Abrams M1A1 tanks that Ukraine received in the fall of 2023 have already been lost on the battlefield, the officials said.

Ukraine's 47th Separate Mechanized Brigade, one of the units operating Abrams tanks, denied that the tanks were pulled from the front and said they were still in use.

People look at a U.S.-made M12A1 Abrams tank captured by Russian forces in Ukraine, displayed at the WWII memorial complex at Poklonnya Hill western in Moscow, on May 1, 2024. (Alexander Nemenov/AFP)

The display also showcased a variety of German-made equipment, accompanied by a sign that read, "history is repeating itself."

The location of the exhibition, at a World War II memorial, and the timing, are part of a specific narrative to connect Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine to the Soviet Union's defeat of Nazi Germany, the BBC said.

Russia celebrates Victory Day on May 9, a heavily militarized holiday marking the end of World War II.

"Strength is in the truth. It's always been that way. In 1943 and today. These war trophies reflect our strength," Russia's Defense Ministry said in a statement.

Zelensky: Russia will attempt to seize Chasiv Yar by Victory Day
Russia will attempt to capture the town of Chasiv Yar, just west of the Russian-occupied Bakhmut, by May 9, President Volodymyr Zelensky said in an interview with NBC News published April 21.
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