In what could be termed an overt display of its combat victories against Ukraine and its NATO allies, the Russian troops are displaying their “war trophies” collected from Ukrainian troops at its iconic Army 2023 International Military Technical Forum.
The “Army-2023” program opened at the Patriot Congress and Exhibition Center in Moscow on August 14. Kickstarting the event, the Russian Ministry of Defense (RuMoD) announced that the leading Russian defense companies would display some 1,500 of their products at the forum.
However, despite the display of some of the most cutting-edge Russian equipment that has already been combat-tested and is being keenly watched by allies, it was the Ukrainian and Western equipment that drew the most dramatic attention.
The RuMoD announced on August 15 that the equipment captured during a special operation in Ukraine was presented in the Patriot Park near Moscow. The Patriot Park is a military-themed park that opened in 2016 and incorporates interactive exhibits with military equipment.
“An exhibition of captured weapons and military equipment in service with the Armed Forces of Ukraine, including those supplied by Western countries, has been opened in the Patriot Park near Moscow as part of the Army-2023 International Military-Technical Forum.
The exhibition is open to delegations and forum participants as part of organized groups,” the ministry said in a statement.
At the "Army-2023" forum, Russia presents the trophy NATO equipment seized during the special operation
It is planned that the confiscated NATO equipment, which was seized by Russian soldiers during a special military operation in Ukraine, will be presented at the international… pic.twitter.com/FC5l02n9Sx
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) August 14, 2023
Equipment made in the United States and other NATO nations received special consideration. This includes the Swedish CV90-40 infantry fighting vehicle, the American M-113 armored personnel carrier, the Australian Bushmaster armored vehicle, and the French AMX-10RCR wheeled tank. Additionally, the ministry noted that several British cars could also be found among the exhibits.
As per the latest data gathered by the military tracking blog Oryx based on visual confirmations, Russian forces have recently captured one Swedish CV90-40 IFV and one French AMX-10RCR.
📸Russia begun to exhibit Western-supplied armored vehicles that have been captured by Russian army in Ukraine.
French-made AMX-10RC, Swedish-made CV-90 and UK-supplied Mastiff are visible. pic.twitter.com/EqR7kRTByF
— Journalite (@journaIite) August 15, 2023
The ministry further told the media that the visitors could see the AT-105 Saxon armored personnel carrier and, more specifically, the Husky and Mastiff armored vehicles. Besides this, the RuMoD provided information on where and how they were able to capture the equipment in the form of exhibit descriptions.
The ministry noted that the exposition’s planning had started in August of the previous year. Since then, the Russian forces claim to have captured more than 870 items of equipment and weaponry from the Ukrainian battlefield. The majority of these, however, are samples of the Ukrainian military-industrial complex and its expertise in modifying archaic equipment.
— 🇺🇦 Ukraine Weapons Tracker (@UAWeapons) October 2, 2022
For instance, the RuMoD said it was specifically referring to the upgraded T-72AMT tank, the BTR-3E and BTR-4E armored personnel carriers, the Varta and Kazak armored vehicles, the Triton armored vehicles, as well as the patrol boats from the port of Mariupol.
Not just that, one of the war trophies on exhibit is the Kalkan-P lightly armored boat with tail number BG-309 that was created by the nearby former Ukrainian manufacturer Liman for the Ukrainian coast guard.
In a somewhat disenchanted demeanor, the ministry observed that these displayed war trophies were once used by Ukrainians to “commit provocations” against Russia.
Russian and Ukrainian troops captured each other’s weapon systems during the conflict that started more than 17 months ago. It was first in August 2022 that Russia published footage showing the equipment it had captured from Ukraine and called them “trophies” collected during the war.
Reports from Ukraine have indicated that parts of some captured Russian equipment have also been sold online to buyers who wanted them as souvenirs. Others, of course, have been captured, refurbished, and fielded in combat against the Russians themselves.
The exhibit of war trophies in one of Russia’s biggest military forums is still significant. It has been received as a power projection by the Russian military, which has recently dealt with drone and missile attacks, provoking it to carry out retaliatory missile attacks.
Russian Attack On Ukraine Continues
During the night of August 15, Russia conducted another massive missile attack on Ukraine, inflicting 27 injuries, three fatalities, and extensive damage to civilian infrastructure throughout eight different Ukrainian districts.
Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal said the attack destroyed civilian infrastructure in eight areas of Ukraine, including homes, schools, and a hospital.
Moreover, the Volyn Oblast Governor Yurii Pohuliaiko told the media that the attack’s main focus was on the western Ukrainian cities. Two cruise missiles killed three people when they attacked an industrial complex in Lutsk, 85 kilometers east of the Polish border.
With this latest attack, an interesting revelation was made. The chief of the Presidential Office of Ukraine, Andriy Yermak, told the media that the Kh-101 cruise missiles used by Russian forces against Ukraine on August 15 roughly had some 30 foreign-made components.
The catch here was Russia produced the missiles in April of this year.
“Approximately 30 foreign microchips were found in the Kh-101 missiles launched by Russia at Ukraine on the night of August 15,” head of the presidential office Andriy Yermak said.
These missiles were manufactured in April 2023. Clearly someone is bypassing sanctions..
— NOELREPORTS 🇪🇺 🇺🇦 (@NOELreports) August 15, 2023
Foreign electronics have been discovered in Russian missiles and loitering weapons used to attack Ukraine. However, the latest missile attack reveals that Russia still imports dual-use items and technology while avoiding sanctions by passing them through organizations with ties to Moscow in other nations.
In addition to the missiles, Russia is also deploying drones in full force. The British military has asserted that the country is likely striving towards self-sufficiency in Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles in the upcoming months.
According to the UK defense ministry’s daily intelligence on social media site X, formerly known as Twitter, Russia has almost probably begun to use domestically built one-way attack drones based on Iranian Shahed designs.
It said, “Indigenous manufacturing will likely allow Russia to establish a more reliable supply of OWA-UAVs. The performance of these weapons has been variable, and Ukraine has proved effective in neutralizing the majority of incoming OWA-UAVs.”
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