Russian Tanks ‘Parade’ Through Kyiv – When Russia launched its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the Kremlin expected its forces to reach Kyiv in three days. Russia’s tank crews anticipated little resistance and were prepared to be met as liberators – so much so that some brought dress uniforms rather than cold weather gear.
The invasion didn’t go as planned, but after nearly 18 months a column of Russian tanks is lined up for a parade of sorts within the Ukrainian capital.
It isn’t likely what Russia’s Vladimir Putin had in mind, however.
A video was shared on Monday that showed a large number of destroyed Russian armored vehicles and burned-out hulks on display on Khreschatyk, the main street strike of Kyiv near the offices of the City Council, the Central Department Store, and the state media building. Though the boulevard has been damaged in Russian missile and drone attacks, it remains a popular shopping and tourist destination.
The tanks and other vehicles were lined up in advance of Ukraine’s Independence Day, and a similar display of destroyed armor vehicles was lined up last August, and it served as a propaganda coup for Kyiv and an embarrassment for Moscow – which had failed to gain control of the city. However, because of the threat of airstrikes, Kyiv officials had said public events would not be held in the capital this year, apart from the parade of Russian military equipment.
“Russian tanks in Kyiv. But not how Russians imagined it,” Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashckenko_en), advisor to the Minster of Internal Affairs of Ukraine, tweeted on Monday morning. “An expo of destroyed Russian military equipment on Kyiv’s central street in preparations for Ukrainian Independence Day.
Russian Tank Losses
The exact number of Russian tanks and other armored vehicles to have been destroyed or disabled in the fighting is unclear, but the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces claimed on Monday that the Kremlin has lost 4,358 tanks since February 24, 2022, when it launched its invasion.
The General Staff added that Russia had lost a dozen tanks in just the past 24 hours.
According to figures from the Dutch open-source military intelligence website Oryx, Russia’s main battle tank (MBT) losses have exceeded 2,253 as of Monday. However, the figures only include visually verified losses, and experts believe the actual number could be far higher.
Russia’s Similar Display
At last week’s annual Army International Military-Technical Forum, which was held outside of Moscow, the Kremlin offered a number of its latest military platforms for sale to foreign buyers. But it also held a similar display of hardware retrieved from the battlefield. In this case, it was “war trophies” that included Ukrainian and Western-made vehicles.
Moreover, Russia’s Ministry of Defense has claimed to have destroyed 11,408 Ukrainian tanks and other armored combat vehicles in the 18 months of fighting – but Western analysts have countered that the figure is higher than the total number of vehicles Kyiv’s forces have ever actually fielded.
Destroyed Russian military equipment on display on Kyiv’s central street Khreshchatyk
There will be no mass events in Kyiv on the Independence Day of Ukraine on 24 August, but a parade of destroyed Russian equipment will be held in the central street of the capital
— Euromaidan Press (@EuromaidanPress) August 21, 2023
Author Experience and Expertise
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.