Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

Russian Tanks Damaged in Ukraine On Display in Warsaw

A destroyed Russian T-72 tank (L) and a Russian self-propelled cannon 2S-19 howitzer. Wojtek Radwanski / AFP

Two Russian armored vehicles, battered, charred and dented, provide a dramatic sight for visitors arriving at Warsaw's historic Castle Square.

The T-72 tank and 2S-19 self-propelled howitzer could almost be mistaken for museum pieces were it not for the mud and grass still stuck to their tracks.

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

Now they have been put on a show in the Polish capital as spoils of war, under a joint initiative of the Polish and Ukrainian governments entitled "For Your Freedom and Ours."

The display's message is that Ukrainians are not just defending freedom and democracy in their own country but for Europe as a whole. 

On a busy summer day in the historic square, pedestrians posed for photos in front of the armored vehicles but others seemed overwhelmed.

Ukrainian citizen Vikka — in town visiting relatives — dabbed her eyes. 

"It's hard to see this here. But it bears witness to the support that Poland has shown [Ukraine]," she told AFP. 

Warsaw pensioner Krzysztof scrutinized the tanks, his arms crossed. 

"We had Russian tanks roll into Poland in 1939," he said.

"They were definitely less modern than these. But otherwise, nothing has changed when it comes to the mentality of the Russian regime."  

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 to have done so since the invasion. 

"These tanks here show the war is real," Sasha told AFP. 

His mother let out a sigh and said: "He knows a lot about the war. He dreams of going back to Kyiv, and of becoming a soldier one day."

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

The Ukrainian defense ministry plans to then exhibit them elsewhere in Europe, including in Madrid and Lisbon. 

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more