Russia Displays Captured Ukrainian Military Vehicles at Moscow Exhibition Ahead of Victory Day Parade

Russia showcases captured Ukrainian military vehicles, including a UK-made Alvis 4 APC mistakenly labeled as South African, in a Moscow exhibition celebrating Russia's "victory" over the West in the ongoing conflict.

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Olalekan Adigun
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Russia Displays Captured Ukrainian Military Vehicles at Moscow Exhibition Ahead of Victory Day Parade

Russia Displays Captured Ukrainian Military Vehicles at Moscow Exhibition Ahead of Victory Day Parade

Russia has put on display a collection of captured Ukrainian military vehicles, including an Alvis 4 APC from the UK that was mistakenly labeled as South African, at an exhibition in Moscow's Victory Park ahead of the Victory Day parade on May 9. The exhibition, titled 'Trophies of the Russian Army', features more than 30 tanks and armored vehicles from a dozen NATO countries, including the US, UK, Germany, and France.

The vehicles were captured in Russian-occupied eastern and southern Ukraine, though the army did not provide details on where they were seized or at what cost. Among the showcased vehicles are a German Leopard 2 tank, a US-made M1 Abrams battle tank, and a Bradley armored vehicle. The event is seen as a celebration of Russia's success against 'Ukrainian militants and their Western supporters,' with a large sign declaring 'Our victory is inevitable.'

However, the authenticity of the Ministry of Defense-sponsored exhibition has been questioned, as it includes an Alvis 4 armored personnel carrier from the UK branded with the South African flag, despite South Africa not having donated any military equipment to Ukraine since the start of the Russian invasion in February 2022. Ukraine had received a number of these Alvis 4 vehicles from the UK, and some were later destroyed and captured by the Russian Army.

Why this matters: The exhibition is part of Russia's efforts to promote a narrative of its conflict with Ukraine as a continuation of its victory over Nazi Germany in World War II. Russian authorities have criticized the supply of Western weapons and military equipment to Ukraine, casting them as evidence of NATO's direct involvement in the fighting. The display of captured vehicles is meant to showcase Russia's military strength and blame NATO for the ongoing conflict.

Visitors to the exhibition expressed a mix of admiration, patriotism, and fear, with some concerned about the prolonged conflict. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has invited foreign diplomats based in Moscow to visit the exhibition and see how the West is 'destroying peace on the planet.' The exhibition coincides with Russia's International Workers' Day and is being held for a month at Moscow's Victory Park in the lead-up to Russia's Victory Day celebrations.

Key Takeaways

  • Russia displays captured Ukrainian and NATO military vehicles in Moscow exhibition.
  • Exhibition includes German Leopard 2, US M1 Abrams, and UK Alvis 4 APCs.
  • Russia claims exhibition showcases its victory against 'Ukrainian militants and Western supporters'.
  • Authenticity of exhibition questioned due to mislabeled Alvis 4 APC as South African.
  • Exhibition part of Russia's efforts to promote narrative of conflict as continuation of WWII victory.