Russia Is Running Low on World War II Soviet Tanks. It Found Help in Laos.

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tags: military history, Russia, World War 2

This was no ordinary shipment of tanks.

The Russian Defense Ministry greeted it with a display of public pride, sending a crew from its official television channel to record the delivery’s departure from the far-eastern port of Vladivostok to a military base near Moscow, a trip that will take days along the Trans-Siberian Railway.

They weren’t there to celebrate the latest advance in military technology. These tanks, dispatched from more than 2,700 miles away by the Lao People’s Army, are destined never to see combat again. They are T-34s, the design used by the Soviet Union in World War II and for decades after, returning home to star in military parades, museum shows and film shoots.

As President Vladimir V. Putin promotes Soviet victory over Nazi Germany as a cornerstone of nationalist fervor, he has a pressing need for the T-34, which became a symbol of Soviet might.

Squares in many Russian cities display T-34s, commemorating the war against Germany. Every year, at least one T-34 rolls over the cobblestones of Red Square during the May 9 Victory Parade.

Read entire article at New York Times

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