VLADIMIR Putin unveiled Russia’s deadly military toybox this week as he showed off tanks, missiles and “super soldier” brain tests.
T-72 battle tanks, BMP K-17 armoured trucks and Tulpan self-propelled heavy mortar shells were all flaunted to foreign buyers at the Army-2022 expo in Patriot Park, Alabino.
Putin said more than 28,000 “modern samples of military and dual-use products” were being displayed by 1,500 Russian manufacturers to delegates from 72 countries.
A Russian soldier was pictured preparing for a “brain test” on a military student at the major military exhibition.
The apprentice soldier in full military uniform was seen being hooked up with wires by an officer, following a complicated diagram in the background.
Putin has previously claimed genetically-modified “super soldiers” who are incapable of feeling “pain or fear” could soon become a reality.
A four-legged robot dog was also shown off, seen trotting along the floor while wielding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher on its back.
The robot – dressed up in a ninja-like outfit – is capable of crouching on the floor, making it harder for the enemy to spot, while it waits to fire off a rocket.
According to Russian state news agency RIA Novosti, the robot, dubbed the M-81 system, will be able to transport weapons and ammunition and fire them during combat.
A prototype of the Ural “first self-driving military truck” that can reportedly travel up to 80km per hour was also on display.
Putin also used the expo to show off his supposed “Ukraine trophies” – including an M777 howitzer and a Tochka-U missile shot down and captured by his troops.
Russia ranks second to the US with arms sales of around £12.4billion a year – nearly a fifth of the global export market
But Kremlin chiefs are said to have faced pushback from key allies, such as India and Egypt, as Putin’s weapons and tactics fall short in Ukraine, making its arms exports less attractive to potential buyers.
At the opening of the convention on Monday, Putin vowed to arm allies with the “most modern weapons” – and bragged that Russia’s military might is “many years, if not decades” ahead of his Western rivals.
Russia has been keen to offer support to countries it considers allies in Latin America, Africa and Asia since the Ukraine invasion – including through selling advanced weapons and military tech.
A senior Russian official met the commander of Palestinian security forces to discuss military and intelligence co-operation at the expo.
And Russia’s defence ministry said it held talks with the West African nation of Mali on strengthening its defence capabilities.
Putin vowed at the opening of Army-2022 on Monday: “We are ready to offer our allies the most modern types of weapons, from small arms to armoured vehicles and artillery to combat aviation and unmanned aerial vehicles.
“Almost all of them have been used more than once in real combat operations.
“Many of them are years, if not decades, ahead of their foreign counterparts. And in terms of tactical and technical characteristics they are significantly superior to them.”
Ruth Deyermond, senior lecturer in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London, said Putin’s performance in Ukraine has been a “disaster” for his military credibility.
She said: “With the collapse of economic relations with the West, Russia is even more dependent on the arms trade than it was before, so it’s not surprising that Putin is so keen to promote them to as many non-Western customers as he can.
“The big problem for him is that Russia’s war against Ukraine has been a disaster for Russian military credibility – their performance has been a very poor advertisement for their weapons.”