The government of Ukraine set up a blocks-long display of captured Russian tanks, shattered military trucks, and stilled artillery pieces through Kyiv’s city center Saturday as a mock “parade” ahead of Ukrainian Independence Day.
“In February, Russians were planning a parade in downtown Kyiv,” Ukraine’s Ministry of Defense tweeted, along with a two-minute video showing scores of the disabled vehicles.
“The shameful display of rusty Russian metal is a reminder to all dictators how their plans may be ruined by a free and courageous nation,” the post continued.
The video, along with others posted to social media Saturday, showed Ukrainians clambering atop the seized materiel, snapping selfies with silent Russian cannons, and weaving between the hulks on bright green scooters.
Cyclist Evgen Vorobiov narrated his trip along Khreschatyk, Kyiv’s main street, lined with official buildings and high-end shops, as he passed the burned-out equipment.
“It’s really fun to watch,” he said. “Russians wanted to get to the center of Kyiv with these loads of military vehicles, and they sort of have managed to — but probably not in the condition that they had expected.”
“Russians finally have their military parade in downtown Kyiv,” journalist Oleksiy Sorokin posted. “Yet, there’s a catch…”
The display will turn the Khreschatyk into an outdoor military museum until the celebration of Ukrainian Independence Day on Wednesday, according to Newsweek.
Ukrainian officials used the event to needle the Russians for their bogged-down invasion, which began Feb. 24 with a plan to capture of the capital but has become a vicious war of attrition, killing thousands of civilians and turning millions into refugees.
“The delusional [Russians] arrogantly invaded,” tweeted Ukrainian defense minister Oleksii Reznikov. “I saw for myself the ceremonial uniforms in their tanks. The aggressors dreamt of capturing Kyiv in 3 days,” Reznikov continued. “The occupiers intended to hold a parade in our capital.
“OK, they’re here. Tons of scrap metal.”