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Russian tanks damaged in Ukraine on display in Warsaw

#Russian #tanks #damaged #Ukraine #display #Warsaw

Two battered, charred and dented Russian armored vehicles present a dramatic sight to visitors arriving at Warsaw’s historic Castle Square.

The T-72 tank and 2S19 self-propelled howitzer could almost be mistaken for museum pieces were it not for the mud and grass still clinging to their tracks.

The two vehicles were met by the Ukrainian army near Kyiv and the northern city of Kharkiv and then captured after Russia invaded in late February.

Now they have been displayed as spoils of war in the Polish capital as part of a joint initiative by the Polish and Ukrainian governments entitled “For your freedom and ours”.

The message of the exhibition is that Ukrainians are not only defending freedom and democracy in their own country, but for Europe as a whole.

On a busy summer day in the historic square, passers-by posed for photos in front of the armored vehicles, others seemed stunned.

Visiting relatives in the city, Ukrainian citizen Vikka dabbed her eyes.

“It’s hard to see this. But it testifies to the support that Poland (Ukraine) has shown,” she told AFP.

Krzysztof, a pensioner from Warsaw, crossed his arms and studied the tanks.

“We let Russian tanks roll into Poland in 1939,” he said.

“They were definitely less modern than these. But other than that, the mentality of the Russian regime hasn’t changed.”

Eight-year-old Sasha fled Kyiv with his mother Katarina in early March and crossed the border into Poland, among nearly 4.5 million Ukrainians who have done so since the invasion.

“These tanks here show that the war is real,” Sasha told AFP.

His mother sighed and said, “He knows a lot about the war. He dreams of returning to Kwiw and one day becoming a soldier.”

The tanks will remain on display in Warsaw for the next few months before traveling to the southern city of Kraków.

The Ukrainian Ministry of Defense plans to exhibit them in other European countries, including Madrid and Lisbon.

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#Russian #tanks #damaged #Ukraine #display #Warsaw

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