Russia gets 30 WW II-era battle tanks from Laos

January 9, 2019
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FILE - In this Thursday, May 3, 2018 filer, a World War II era Soviet tanks T-34 makes its way through the Red Square with the St. Basil's Cathedral in background, during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in Moscow, Russia. The Russian Defense Ministry said Wednesday that it has received 30 T-34 tanks from Laos _ a move reflecting the national cult of the famed weapon. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

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.

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