US Abrams ‘Beats’ German Leopard-2 Tank In The ‘Russian Race’; Emerges Favorite ‘War Trophy’ In Brand Survey

The ongoing exhibition of captured military equipment displayed at Poklonnaya Gora in Moscow has sparked fervent discussion among Russian social media users about their favorite ‘War Trophy.’ The US-manufactured Abrams tanks have emerged as clear winners, outshining German Leopard-2 tanks.

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This revelation comes from a study conducted by Brand Analytics, with results indicating a clear preference for American hardware over its German counterparts.

The study, which analyzed more than 650 million public Russian-language posts on social media between May 1 and May 7, 2024, revealed a total of 80.9 thousand mentions related to the equipment presented at Poklonnaya Gora.

According to a study conducted by Brand Analytics and obtained by TASS, the Abrams M1A1 garnered the highest number of mentions (18,200) among social media users. In comparison, the German Leopard 2A6, while still highly regarded, trailed behind with 15.7 thousand mentions, securing its place as the second most popular exhibit at the exhibition.

The popularity of these war trophies extended beyond tanks, with the US-made M2A2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle claiming the third spot with over 7.7 thousand mentions, further emphasizing the fascination of Russian netizens with American military hardware.

Among the top 15 most discussed exhibits of captured equipment, the German Marder 1A3 infantry fighting vehicle claimed the fourth position with 6.6 thousand mentions.

The Humvee, a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) manufactured in the US, secured fifth place with 3.7 thousand mentions, while the M1150 Assault Breacher Vehicle (ABV) claimed sixth place with 3.2 thousand mentions.

Next in line were two armored vehicles from the UK, the Husky and Mastiff, each receiving approximately 2,900 mentions. Also included in the list is another UK-manufactured vehicle, the Saxon AT105 armored personnel carrier, with 12.2 thousand mentions.

Two other US-made pieces of equipment on the list are the M777 howitzer and the M1224 MaxxPro MRAP, receiving approximately 2.9 thousand and 2.7 thousand mentions, respectively.

Further diversifying the discourse were entries such as the Turkish armored car Kirpi with 1.8 thousand mentions, the Australian armored car Bushmaster with 1.6 thousand mentions, the Ukrainian BMPT “Azovets” with 1.4 thousand mentions, and the South African-made armored car Mamba Mk2 EE, also with 1.4 thousand mentions.

The Russians showcased a damaged M1A1 Abrams tank, which they transported from the Avdiivka region in Ukraine, at the Western military equipment exhibition in Moscow.

The Exhibition

The exhibition featuring Western military equipment captured from Kyiv forces during the conflict in Ukraine opened its doors on May 1 in the Russian capital, Moscow.

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Organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, the exhibit boasts a collection of more than 30  heavy equipment manufactured by Western nations. Located at a World War II memorial venue in western Moscow, the exhibition is slated to run until the end of the month, offering visitors a rare glimpse into the arsenal of the opposing side.

Among the standout exhibits are the formidable US-made M1 Abrams battle tank and Bradley armored fighting vehicle, the French-made AMX-10RC armored vehicle, as well as the German Leopard 2 tank and Marder armored infantry vehicle.

In addition to heavy equipment, the exhibition features firearms, military documents, and other artifacts, providing insight into the tactics and strategies employed by Ukrainian forces.

The displays include samples of small arms from foreign armies, communications equipment, anti-tank systems, mines, and drones, offering a comprehensive view of the modern battlefield.

Captured Vehicles.

Multimedia screens play footage showcasing the defeat of armored vehicles during the conflict to showcase the effectiveness of Russian military operations.

To enhance the visitor experience, information stands have been installed to provide details about the manufacturing countries of the captured equipment, their tactical and technical specifications, and the circumstances of their seizure by Russian servicemen.

This approach aims to educate the public about the capabilities of Western military technology and Russia’s role in countering external threats.

Russian authorities have also seized the opportunity to criticize the supply of Western weapons and military equipment to Ukraine, portraying it as evidence of NATO’s interference in the conflict.

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Despite heavy Western support for Kyiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin has reiterated his confidence that such assistance will not alter the course of the conflict or deter Russia from achieving its objectives.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for the Russian President, praised the exhibition as a “brilliant idea”, emphasizing its importance in showcasing the enemy’s equipment to the public.

Drawing parallels to Soviet-era exhibitions of captured Nazi military equipment during and after World War II, Russian officials have highlighted the significance of the event. Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova has urged foreign diplomats in Moscow to visit the exhibition, framing it as a testament to “the West’s aggression” and a challenge to perceived “Western values”.