WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A display of war-damaged Russian weapons in downtown Warsaw serves as a reminder of the horrors of the war in Ukraine but also that Russia’s aggression can be defeated, officials said Monday.
Ukraine’s Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar and the head of Poland’s prime minister’s office, Michal Dworczyk, inaugurated the exhibit in Warsaw’s Castle Square – a symbolic venue that was painstakingly rebuilt after it’s destruction during World War II.
Dworczyk said the damaged T-72 tank, a self-propelled howitzer and elements of Russian missile systems show that Russia’s army, once considered invincible, can be defeated. The equipment fell into the hands of Ukrainian forces early in the war that started when Russia invaded on Feb. 24.
The tank was destroyed March 31 in fighting near the village of Dmytrivka, west of Kyiv.
Maliar said the equipment also demonstrate the effectiveness of Ukraine’s defense systems – some of which have been provided by European countries – and underscore need for more such support.
The display, called “For Our Freedom and Yours,” opened on the eve of a NATO summit in Madrid that aims to boost the strength of the military alliance’s rapid reaction force and military support for Ukraine.
Maliar said Russia’s artillery is 10 times more powerful than Ukraine’s. Ukraine has been urging its western allies to provide more military equipment and munitions to support its defense against severe Russian attacks in the east of the country.
There are plans to take the weapons display to the Czech Republic and elsewhere in Europe, Maliar said.
Ukraine’s neighbor Poland has been a staunch supporter of Kyiv, seeing Ukraine’s resistance as defending all of Europe.