Seized US Bradley IFV ‘Paraded’ In Moscow; Russian Public Gets Unique Change To Inspect ‘War Trophy’

A US-origin M2A2 Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicle (IFV) captured in combat by the Russian forces was reportedly put on a train bound for Moscow in a move that has been labeled as Russian propaganda by Western commentators.

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According to reports, the captured vehicle was strapped on a train for what has been known as a “propaganda tour.” Several social media posts suggested that the train arrived in Moscow on February 26 for the American-supplied IFV to be transferred to a military museum in Moscow.

Although EurAsian Times could not verify these claims, the Patriot Park military park in Kubinka, which is located just outside of Moscow, has become home to a variety of armor and other artifacts captured by Russian troops in Ukraine. 

A set of images of the captured Bradley were published on Platform X, but it was not immediately clear where and when the images were taken.

In one photograph, the hull side of the vehicle appears to have been penetrated by some high explosive armor-piercing rounds. Military watchers speculated that Ukraine fired relentlessly on the vehicle to damage it before the Russians could seize it.

Several photographs of the vehicle sitting on the train making the rounds on the internet show that the audience had the opportunity to closely view the captured Bradley on its alleged propaganda journey.

Since Ukraine deployed the US-origin Bradley Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs) in its counteroffensive last year, it has lost several dozens of them. Ukraine has lost about 69 Bradley IFVs, out of which at least 68 were damaged or destroyed, and one was captured in combat as per visual evidence collected and analyzed by the Oryx open-source intelligence group.

The Bradley was captured by Russia in July 2023, as seen below.

A total of 186 M2A2-ODS-SA Bradleys and four M7 Bradley Fire Support Team (BFIST) variants have reportedly been sent to Ukraine by the US military. Experts believe that the number of Bradley losses is likely to be higher than what has been projected.

In December 2023, a report on Russia’s Channel 1 channel featured the captured M2A2-ODS Bradley Fighting Vehicle and the perilous and near-fatal effort of its retrieval by Russian troops. The soldiers who made this effort were commended on the battlefield.

In the video report, which pro-Ukrainian military bloggers lambasted as a pathetic and jarring propaganda attempt, the Russian reporter was seen in the driver’s hatch holding up an overlay for all the switches and controls where the instructions are written in the local language.

One of the soldiers who participated in Bradley’s capture described how they made use of the low light levels at night. He explained that “using weather conditions, (he) drove up to him directly and pulled out the car. It was located right in the middle between our positions and the enemy at a distance of 500 meters from him.”

The capture of sophisticated NATO military equipment has been widely broadcasted by Russia as a symbol of its own military superiority. For instance, speaking at the annual Army International Military-Technical Forum last year, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu claimed that the war in Ukraine had “debunked many myths about the superiority of Western military standards” and that the “war trophies” on display were proof of it.

The decision to attach a Bradley trophy on a train and make it accessible to the Russian public has been seen as an attempt by Russia to mobilize public opinion for the war. The development comes right after the Russian forces knocked out an M1A1 Abrams battle tank in Ukraine.

The Loss & Capture Of Bradley 

The United States pledged the Bradley IFVs to Ukraine in January last year, and the vehicles were delivered a few months later in April, right in time for the Ukrainian counteroffensive.

These Bradley IFVs suffered the most damage when Ukraine’s much-anticipated counteroffensive against Russia began in June of that year. As the counteroffensive progressed, the mages of Russian forces destroying multiple US-origin Bradley IFVs astounded the world.

16 Bradleys were lost in a matter of days as Ukrainian forces advanced to seize three Russian villages in the eastern Donetsk region. Later, as the conflict grew more intense, more losses were recorded. In fact, a video was released in late 2023 that showed a “cemetery” of Bradley IFVs.

The video, which was uploaded to Platform X, featured roughly fifteen Bradley IFVs with different degrees of damage. The video was allegedly taken from a Ukrainian army vehicle parked behind the front line, as previously reported by EurAsian Times.

The video shows that some of these vehicles that were among the first to pull into Russian positions for the much-awaited counteroffensive had their turrets removed, and most of them had their tracks thrown. The Bradley losses have, over time, become the symbol of Ukraine’s failed counteroffensive. 

Bradleys were lost during a breaching mission, one of Ukraine’s riskiest and most complex military operations ever carried out. These operations are regarded as some of the riskiest and most intricate military strategies since they entail breaching enemy defenses.

To exacerbate the situation, air support was not provided for these breaching efforts, and suppressing artillery fire proved ineffectual. These conditions have worsened the Bradleys’ susceptibility, which has led to losses and damages. 

Bradley IFV
File Image: Damaged Bradley IFV

The Bradley fighting vehicle, which moves on tracks rather than wheels, can deploy support fire and transport up to ten soldiers into battle. With its lethal 25mm auto-cannons, the 28-ton, three-crew M-2s have attacked Russian vehicles and infantry while simultaneously protecting Ukrainian forces from artillery, mines, and missiles.

While protecting Ukrainian forces from artillery, mines, and missiles, the 28-ton, three-crew M-2s have inflicted considerably more damage than they have incurred. At the same time, their deadly 25mm auto-cannons are attacking Russian vehicles and forces. However, many have been destroyed or irreparably damaged in the process.

Despite that, its Ukrainian operators have hailed the war machine as a force to reckon with. Several visuals have been published on social media where the Bradley IFVs could be seen demolishing the Russian troops and equipment.

Even operators of the vehicle who drove it into Russian positions last June swear by the capabilities of this American war machine.