‘The lessons of Fascism’ Ukrainian tanks and fighting vehicles on display as part of Leningrad Siege exposition outside St. Petersburg
The Leningrad Siege Museum commemorates the breakthrough that ended the Nazi forces’ deadly blockade in 1944. Today’s visitors can expect to find a new temporary exhibition, courtesy of Russia’s Federation Council, featuring captured Ukrainian tanks. The show’s title, “The Lessons of Fascism Yet to Be Learned,” seems apt — but not in the way intended by the curators.
Ukrainian tanks and fighting vehicles seized in Ukraine by the Russian army are being exhibited at the Siege of Leningrad memorial museum in Kirovsk, a town outside of St. Petersburg.
The war trophies include a T-72 tank, a BTR-4 “Bucefalus” fighting vehicle, and other Ukrainian military equipment, arranged opposite Russian tanks exhibited as part of the museum’s “Heirs to the Heroes” exposition.
Photos from the show have circulated on Russian social media for the past few days. Users are skeptical about an exposition that has nothing to do with Leningrad’s history or the Nazi siege.
The local media claim that trophy military equipment from Ukraine will soon be featured in a new exhibition, “The Lessons of Fascism Yet to Be Learned.” The show will also exhibit Ukrainian weapons seized in the combat zone, as well as samples of printed Ukrainian “propaganda.” Russia’s Federation Council and Senator Dmitry Vasilenko are organizing the spectacle.
The museum itself declined to comment on the event before it opened, confirming only that captured Ukrainian military equipment would indeed appear on its premises.
The news outlet Sota points out that the Ukrainian T-72 tank currently on display has no dynamic protection (also known as reactive armor, which counteracts anti-tank munitions). The publication suggested that its reactive armor had been removed for later use by the Russian army, which suffers from shortages of dynamic armor.
The local news outlet Bumaga notes that, back in April 2022, the face of the Siege Museum had been embellished with a giant “Z” (the letter that’s come to be a symbol in Russia for support of the invasion). “It’s only logical,” said the museum press service, “that a museum dedicated to the struggle against Nazism would support the special operation, directed against neo-Nazism in Ukraine.”
The Kirovsk show is not the first in Russia to feature captured Ukrainian equipment. Last August, a fighting infantry vehicle BTR-4E was exhibited at Patriot Park outside of Moscow, together with samples of Western equipment and weapons used by the Ukrainian military.