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Armed Forces Museum, Russia

Experienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyagerExperienced voyager Joshua Brook
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Moscow's Museum of the Armed Forces details the history and victories of the Russian Army and Navy through 24 halls of fascinating exhibits and military hardware. The museum is instantly recognizable by the T-34 tank and ballistic missile standing in front of the building's entrance. The museum's 1st floor is entirely devoted to the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945 and features a staggering array of banners, weapons, propaganda leaflets, uniforms, paintings and photographs depicting the various battles.

Particularly worthy of note are a replica partisan hide-out and, rather disturbingly, human hair and tattooed skin from the Maidenjak Concentration Camp. Ultimate victory over Germany is represented by a shattered bronze eagle taken from the Reichstag, Berlin's Parliament, a series of Nazi banners that were cast down before the Lenin Mausoleum in 1945 and a picture of the burning of Hitler's corpse.

The museum's post-war section proudly displays the wreckage of an American U-2 spy-plane that was shot down over the Urals in 1960. The two rooms on Afghanistan feature the enormous booster-stage of an SS-16 missile, which the Soviets eventually agreed to scrap and which draws visitor attention away from the photo albums filled with evidence of atrocities committed during the drawn-our armed struggle. The museum's Victory Hall presents banners, uniforms and medal from throughout the history of the Russian Armed Forces, most notably the Order of Victory, which was first awarded to Stalin.

Outside the museum is an impressive array of military hardware, including an armored train, a helicopter gunship and a MiG-25, similar to those used in the war with Afghanistan. The museum is a must-see for those interested in Russian and Soviet military history. More info on: www.moscow-taxi.com

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