MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's Defense Ministry says it has received 30 Soviet WW II-era T-34 battle tanks from Laos — a move reflecting the national veneration of the weapon.
The ministry said Wednesday the tanks are fully combat-ready and will be used in military parades and for making World War II movies.
The T-34 played a key role in defeating the Nazis and became a widely revered symbol of the nation's heroism and suffering. A film describing feats of a T-34 crew has topped the national box office this month.
The ministry said more than 58,000 T-34s were built between 1940 and 1946, making it the world's most widely produced tank, but only several of them have remained in working condition in Russia. The T-34 was widely exported and used in numerous conflicts.