Russia is showing off advanced military tech around the world while its troops in Ukraine struggle with obsolete Soviet-era weapons

Mar 3, 2023

An abandoned Russian tank in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, Ukraine, on April 13, 2022. 
Leon Klein/Anadolu Agency via Getty
  • Russia has been showing off advanced military technology around the world, according to the UK MOD.
  • But its soldiers are struggling in Ukraine with Soviet-era equipment and limited supplies.
  • Russia showed off a tank protection system it likely hasn’t deployed yet in Ukraine, the MOD said.

Russian defense companies are showcasing advanced military equipment at fairs around the world, according to the UK’s Ministry of Defence. This comes at the same time as Russia’s own soldiers are dying in droves in Ukraine using old Soviet-era equipment.

“Despite the war in Ukraine, Russian defence companies continue to showcase their products at major international arms fairs,” the MOD said in an intelligence update on Friday.

The MOD said Russia recently displayed an Arena-E active protection system (APS), which is designed to protect armoured vehicles, at one event.

The promotional material for the system says that it “defeats the threats that are most dangerous for armoured vehicles … if you value your armour and crews you need Arena-E.”

But, the MOD said, “there has been no evidence of Arena-E systems being installed on Russia’s own vehicles in Ukraine, where it has lost over 5,000 armoured vehicles. This is likely due to Russian industry’s inability to manufacture high-tech systems at scale; a problem which is exacerbated by the effect of international sanctions.”

Russian state news agency TASS reported last month that the company behind the Arena-E system would display it at the IDEX-2023 international weapons show in the United Arab Emirates in late February. TASS also said that other Russian defense companies were due to show off “more than 200 full-scale samples of weapons and military equipment, ammunition and gear” at the event.

The global presentations come as Russia struggles to replace tanks and other equipment being lost in Ukraine.

Russia has lost around 1,800 tanks since February 2022, according to open source intelligence platform Oryx, with the country losing about 150 tanks a month in Ukraine. Its only tank factory is able to produce just 20 vehicles a month.

As a result, the country’s military has had to take Soviet-era tanks out of storage to fight, and has been using less-accurate Soviet-era missiles.

US Deputy Treasury Secretary Wally Adeyemo said last month that Russia has lost up to half of its tanks in Ukraine since the start of the war and is running low on ammunition.


  1. Western tanks are superior to any ruskie tanks. This is especially true when compared to the old ruskie stuff. Once Western tanks make it to the front lines to take active part in battle, they will be like a firestorm over a dry wheat field, even if their numbers will not be large. The same goes for other vehicles, like Bradleys and Marders.

  2. “more than 200 full-scale samples of weapons and military equipment, ammunition and gear”

    Would you buy a car from someone who only had a sample to show you, or a Dinky toy replica?

    • Only poor suckers or dumbasses will buy anything from mafia land after watching their turrets go into low orbit or bits and pieces of other vehicles being scattered across Ukrainian landscapes.

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