Ukraine Travel

Burned russian metal, Kyiv

Today the aggressor state – russia – celebrates victory over Nazis. putin said in his speech that ussr was alone against all of Europe and that China fought bravely against the Japanese. The situation in russia is bad to say the least.
But they do value their “heroes”, like Colonel omurbekov, who commanded the occupation of Bucha and gave orders to execute civilians.

St. Michael's Church Kyiv

In Kyiv this burned russian metal was on display since May. I was eager to see them, as I’ve seen pictures and clips with these, but I was still surprised about a thing or two.

The military equipment is in front of St. Michael, a monastery which was taken down by the soviets in 1934, an attack on Ukrainian culture and tradition. After gaining independence, Ukrainians rebuilt it. It was finished in 2000. It is an important place, there is a statue of Princess Olha, memorial to Holodomor, memorial for the Heavenly Hundred, and the Wall of Remembrance for the soldiers who died in the russo-Ukrainian war.

burned russian metal

It was nice to see the russian equipment burned, both on a personal level and as a historian. These are not protected in any way, they are not pieces of museums in the western perspective. People interact with them, write things on them, add flags. Leave flowers on the civilian cars that are on display as well. I liked how raw and truthful this exhibition is.

russian military equipment


This is a self-propelled howitzer. Pre-2022 they had hundreds of them, over 1,000. For example, France was producing 2 of their own self-propelled howitzers per month before 2022 and now they are up to 8. This is just to highlight their importance.

burned russian metal

Other equipment on display are armoured wheeled and tracked vehicles, staff vehicles, and engine and nozzle of the tactical missile Tochka-U.
I will never forget the attack from Kramatorsk on 8 April 2002, where the russians used a Tochka-U. The railway station was hit with one of these and 63 people died, including 9 children, while over 150 were injured. Most of the people were, obviously, women and children fleeing the approaching russian army. The russians never took Kramatorsk, a big city in Donetsk Oblast. I will never forget the picture of the aftermath, the blood on the ground and the abandoned luggage and baby strollers.

civilian car

A civilian car which was filled with people fleeing and was targeted by the russian military. There are flowers in the car, left in remembrance of the people who died.

civilian car

description board

The display boards are, from a historical perspective, fantastic. I like that they are not blurred, the war is not blurred, not sanitized, not censored to “protect” the viewers from something which they might find upsetting. We need to know the truth to be able to deal with it and this is the truth.

Top left – bomb on a block in Warsaw from WW2 – top right – a block bombed by the russians in 2022. The photographer, Maks Levin, was shot by the russians.

Bottom left – burned man in Warsaw, WW2 – bottom right – charred bodies of victims in Bucha

russian metal

We saw these while on a bus going to the city centre. We got out and had a look around. I loved this! These are from Hostomel.

russian metal

This was one of 331st Regiment vehicles. The 331 are the russian elite troops. They were sent to capture Kyiv and, as we know now, failed. About 100 of them died (at least).


Turret, another highlight to see. Anyone who watches footage from the frontline is familiar with the russian turret toss. Because life matters very little for them, russian tanks are not designed as the western ones are.

So, a tank is hit and the turret goes boom, flying off meters into the air. This happens if the hit reaches where munition is stored. russian tanks have the shells on a carousel, in the same chamber with the crew. Western tanks have a special compartment for the ammo. If a western tank is damaged, blowout panels open to protect the crew. This means that the western tanks have a human loader, which also means there is less space for ammo.
The only difference is the view on human life. russian tanks carry more ammo, but they blow up so powerfully that their turret is hurdled up to 100 metres into the air. I’ve seen quite a few of those. Western tanks carry less ammo, but the crew might make it alive if the tank is hit.

This one was from Antonov Airport, near Hostomel. That battle for the airport was just as iconic as the one for Snake Island.

russian equipment

This is another one from Antonov Airport. If the russians would have taken the airport they could have supplied their troops through there. Ukrainians were dealing with the best of the russian army, low on munition and they held them back.

russian equipment

This is a Tigr-M armoured vehicle, destroyed in an artillery strike near Antonov Airport. Basically this kind of Tigr vehicles made up most of the “military display” in moscow today. They only had 4 tanks today;  they don’t send that type of tank in Ukraine because a turret toss on one of those would be too embarrassing.

5 Comment

    1. Yes. It was very interesting to see that these are still there as in the first day they were put out, allowing people to interact with them if they want to.

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