Russia displays Western equipment captured from Ukrainian army

moscow — An exhibition of Western military equipment captured from Kyiv forces during the fighting in Ukraine opened Wednesday in the Russian capital. 

The exhibit, organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, features more than 30 pieces of Western-made heavy equipment, including a U.S.-made M1 Abrams battle tank and a Bradley armored fighting vehicle, a Leopard 2 tank and a Marder armored infantry vehicle from Germany, and a French-made AMX-10RC armored vehicle. 

The exhibition, which will remain open for a month at a World War II memorial venue in western Moscow, also displays firearms, military papers and other documents. 

Russian authorities have criticized supplies of Western weapons and military equipment to Ukraine, casting them as evidence of NATO’s direct involvement in the fighting. At the same time, Russian President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly declared that Western military supplies to Kyiv wouldn’t change the course of the conflict and prevent Russia from achieving its goals. 

The exhibition comes as Russian forces have grabbed more land in eastern Ukraine, taking advantage of delays in U.S. military assistance to push back the under-gunned Kyiv forces. 

Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, has hailed the Moscow exhibition as a “brilliant idea.” 

“The exhibition of trophy equipment will attract great interest from Moscow residents, guests of our city, and all residents of the country,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said. “We should all see the enemy’s battered equipment.” 

Russian military bloggers drew parallels between the show and the exhibits of captured Nazi military equipment that the Soviet Union held during and after World War II. 

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova noted that foreign diplomats based in Moscow should take the opportunity to visit the exhibition to see how “the West destroys peace on the planet.” 

“This exhibition will be interesting to all those who still believe in mythical ‘Western values’ or fail to notice an aggression unleashed by NATO against Russia and our people,” Zakharova said. 

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