Armored Vehicles a(t/s) Children Playground in Russia

Thanks to Plazmakeks for this one.

Hello everyone,

this is one of the things that you don’t really see everyday – or, rather, not at all, in Europe anyway. If you follow this blog for a while, you might have read several posts, where I commented on how insanely popular the armored vehicles are in Russia. This popularity is one of the main reasons why World of Tanks became so popular in CIS. I guess it’s a part of the T-34 – war winner thing, combined with the traditional Russian patriotism, but unlike in Europe, in Russia you have armored vehicles as monuments in practically every town.

This includes vehicles on places where you wouldn’t really expect them, such as children playgrounds. In a post at the Englishrussia site, several examples are shown. Here, in Tomsk, a ZSU-23-4 (otherwise known as “Shilka”) is a part of the playground.


In Omsk, another piece of military hardware is serving as a part of a playground:


Several more examples:




You know… I have to wonder – even with the undisputed armor popularity in Russia, what kind of mindset does it take to take an armored vehicle and convert it to a playground attraction. On one hand – it’s cool. I mean, as a kid, I would have LOVED to have a tank to play in. The closest I came to an experience like this as a child was when I was at my uncle’s weekend cottage in the mountains and there was a small bunker on his land, a part of the old bunker line from the 30′s. But the bunker was just there, long before my uncle bought the cottage – and it couldn’t be removed even if someone wished it. Yet someone (municipality I presume) in Russia actually consciously decided to move a tank to the playground and make it basically an oversized toy. I mean… in the end, it’s still a tank, a weapon. I am not an anti-gun guy (quite the opposite), but imagine the situation if your municipality was handing your kids for example non-functional (welded shut) AK-47′s to play with. That would look weird even to me. So why’s a tank on playground any different?

58 thoughts on “Armored Vehicles a(t/s) Children Playground in Russia

    • I’m afraid there are other motives here, if you imprint the image of armored vehicles into children they aren’t as reluctant to join the army, at least that’s my theory. And, in the Netherlands, playgrounds can be a very expensive, so this is a ‘cheap’ solution, plus it’s Russia, so I don’t think I’ll ever understand :P.

      • Uncle Stalin would approve very much! You wouldn’t ever see an armoured vehicle next to a playground or even in one in England! Russian mentality for yoy!

        • I made a comment sometime before where I said I felt sad that some T55s, after being converted into slag tractors for a local smelting plant would eventually end up as scrap and melted down themselves.

          Regardless of the price of scrap metal or whatever, imho, these tanks are part of history and I, for one, would hate to see them destroyed so somebody can make a few more toasters.

          Indeed it’s not 100% appropriate to have’em as oversize toys but if I’d have to choose between that and the smelting plant? Sure, plant one right outside the park, I’m a gonna thank you for it too!

          Also, regarding England – correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t you guys have a law that said it’s completely legal to own and drive a tank on the streets so long as the main weapon is no longer functional?(I remember seeing a news report some years back about a rich bloke buying his own tank, painting it yellow and driving it around town).

          • Everything is a part of history. Whether it’s important/rare/special enough to be preserved is another thing. By all means keep a few in museums but you’re talking about something that was mass produced. In the end most of them should be scrapped and turned into something useful.

            And yes you can own and drive armoured vehichles on the road in the UK as long as it has rubber tracks/pads and you have a tracked vehichle license. There are a lot of privately owned CVRT’s around that people take on the roads.

          • ” Also, regarding England – correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t you guys have a law that said it’s completely legal to own and drive a tank on the streets so long as the main weapon is no longer functional?(I remember seeing a news report some years back about a rich bloke buying his own tank, painting it yellow and driving it around town).”

            its the same in france but it have a weight limitation too… like its forbidden if your tank is too heavy to breake the bitume of the road with your tracks

            • False.
              In france, you cannot own a piece of military warfare unless it’s fully converted (like sherman M4 converted to bulldozer with removed turret.) and in most cases, it’s just illegal. For Example, I tried to buy a VBL Panhard coming back from a foreign country. The authorities have forbidden me to even get it in France, even if the vehicle do not have a single piece of military warfare remaining in. No weapon, no ammo, no military electronic, it’s just like a big jeep or a hummer, but forget it, it’s designed as an armored vehicle, so I cannot get it and roll it as a simple citizen.

        • In the broadest sense of the word “playground” you could say that the T-34 in South London is a graffiti playground.
          Also the Bovington Tank musuem has a playground right in front of it. And there is a tank right next to the playground.

          There is also the option of parking an AFV right next to your local park :D

        • There are similar things in other countries. E.g. the children’s book ” My Parents Open Carry”, teaching children how good it is to have a pistol, this books sells very well in the USA.

  1. I do take it the hatches are sealed right? Wouldn’t want children crawling around in narrow small places, not even in Russia lol

    • I REALLY hope that the hatches are sealed, it would be very dangerous otherwise…

        • Don’t think there’s much left on the inside.

          Went on a range in Bulgaria at the beginning of last year and they also had a pair of T55s(used to be a military tank range…go figure). Anyway, the insides were pretty much cleaned out of everything that wasn’t the hull or main gun(OF COURSE WE HAD TO TRY TRAVERSING THE TURRET MANUALLY!).

  2. The tanks where there before they playgrounds? They put a tank on an open space and later that space was the only open space available for a local playground?

  3. There was a play area at a museum I went to regularly as a child that had a tank in it. It wasn’t cordoned off or anything and was right next to other playground equipment. I played on it every time my mother took me, which was pretty regularly, since it was just in the next town over. I don’t remember now what kind of tank it was, but this was in the 1980′s, so it was probably some WWII era piece of armor. If it is not obvious by my spelling of armor, this was in the United States.

    If I had several hundred thousand dollars to burn I’d buy a tank for my kids to play on. What kid wouldn’t want that?

    • Why would you spend that much money on a toy for your kids when you could buy a car crate and get your kids to help you build a tank style cubby house. $50 and green paint… will have fun, your misses will love you even more…..

      You could make a real tank like the Kiwis did…..aka Bob Semple……for a little more…..

      Or is it that you secretly want a reason which will cover your ass, to buy a real tank, with regards to the misses…..

  4. Well,here in Romania it is very common for children,esp. boys to play with plastic guns that fire some sort of plastic balls. It is not airsoft,the balls have much slower velocity,making them unharmful.Many of these guns resemble real life weapons,and the AK-47 is one of the most popular.
    So,I wouldn’t be that shocked to see kids playing with non-functional AK-47 since everyone seems to be fine with them shooting each other with replicas of those guns.

    • Those are spring-loaded toys, so way more harmless than a BB gun or airsoft gun.

      Still, depending on the toy itself (really miss my Desert Eagle look-a-like), that spring could pack a surprising punch. I think I still have a US-like “chromed” pump action shotgun that had a much more powerful spring than the regular pistols you could find (toying around in my room, used a silver medal as target practice, from about 2 meters or so – the pistol-fired plastic balls bounced off, the ones fired from the shotgun regularly shattered when they hit the medal)

  5. I remember my old playground had a T-34-85, a howitzer, maybe 122 mm (I don’t remember, it may be even a 76,2 mm At gun, it was a long time ago) , and a MiG-19. Aaaaaand it was in western Hungary, back in the 80s. So it is likely it was a thing in other Warsaw pact countries as well.
    It was replaced a few years ago with another one, and the one we used to play on, was transported to Budapest to be restored fully, and to be used on reenactments and in movies, because it turned out it only needs little care to run again.
    A few pictures about the transportation:

  6. >but imagine the situation if your municipality was handing your kids for example non-functional (welded shut) AK-47′s to play with.
    Instead we should give them functional ones and just teach them how to handle dangerous items safely such as weapons, power tools, etc. 9/10 accidents with any of these come from ignorance about their safe operation.

  7. Actually, it’s quite fine, SS. Think about all the toy guns you can buy from a store for kids… How is a toy gun different from real but non-functioning AK-74? Just a quality of construction and price?

    How is toy tank different from real but non functioning tank? Size?

    How is it different from the monument of a tank? Material?

    I grew up crawling all over a similar tank and I loved it. People will have issues with all kinds of things, I am sure there is someone somewhere protecting water guns because they teach kids to shoot each other. Stupid people will remain (hi Woras).

  8. Kids play with toy pistols and plastic knifes every day. How is this any different? Or think of old fairy tales. Gutting the evil wolf, filling his belly with stones, just so he drowns when you throw him down the well, while he is still alive, kicking and screaming for his life. Its still nothing but an excessivly gruesome childrens tale.

    Kids experience violence and stuff differently than adults, because they lack the context.

    I find the lack of experience with gunplay & co quite dangerous. People become peace loving and reject war out of principle, not because of experiences and facts, as you can see all across Europe in the post-war generations. Now, while that would be grand on a global scale, we still need a few more centuries to evolve into that. What happens now is the formation of small scale peace loving enclaves, which are totally dependent on the big players (USA and Russia for example) to keep them from being swallowed by someone else. And even if we ever reach that stage in evolution, when we all hold hands and sing kumbaya, it is mathematically impossible that we are alone in the universe …

    To sum it up: Tanks on kids playgrounds are a great thing.

    • Toys are toys, they’re designed to have fun with (like a water gun)

      A tank is a fucking tank. It’s not a toy.

      • Kids play with car wheels on a stick, which certainly was neither invented nor built for that purpose. Who are you to decide what is a toy and what is not?

  9. When I was kid we had our czechoslovak decomissioned mig-19 in our kindergarden lawn.
    Its communist stronk attitude to put fighter planes and tanks on monuments, Imagine this as big steel commie falus put on display. In my area there are still dozens (really like every other village has those) of T-34-85 and some SD-100 on monuments, all of their barrels pointing west, as a remnant of commie era.

    Secondary effect is if in case of war any of those got bombed by mistake, its ammo for propaganda.

  10. I think it’s really cool, but why only in russia? I want that in the Netherlands FFS, there are millitary museums here where I found a not well enough welded tank but thats all, and then you have those memorial things that you arn’t aloud to climb on… and offcourse the gouverment sells all the damn tanks we had… GG Holland!

  11. They build tanks in Omsk so now children know what their hometown is about.
    They made these toys in 1990s so my guess is city had no funds for playgrounds and used old military hardware instead, it was rotting in hangars anyway. I salute their effort.
    Me, I had a T-34-85 near my house as a child, one of those that rolled over nazis in 1944 I think. It was awesome.

  12. Few decades ago we saw shell of a BMD (no engine, gun or anything else inside, just the armoured box) towed and left just outside our school stadium with all hatches open. One day i decided to climb inside as usual. But somebody placed big lump of ice directly beneath the hatch. I slipped (as you can imagine, it’s quite dark and hard to see inside the AFV) on it and slammed the edge of hatch with my face. I still have visible scar on the cheek all these years later.

    So yeah, it’s a good idea to leave those thing in playgrounds.

  13. So long as it’s safe, I’d be ok with it.

    I remember as a child playing on this huge two level wooden playground. It was designed to look like an old pirate ship, complete with gun ports, rigging and crows nest. The scary part is it had to be 60 feet long and at minimum 25 high, with fireman poles that we’d hurl ourselves down. I was very sad when they tore it down after 18 years, citing safety concerns… and splinters. Now had I a tank, my kids could’ve shared in my adventures.

    I’ve never fought with, or against a tank, so from my perspective it’s all fantasy.

  14. You know what is more confusing?

    Children roaming around with AK’s and M-16′s in Syria.

    They should have got better weapons IMO… /sarcasm

  15. In rural BC, it’s mainly railroad equipment. Old steam locomotives and the occasional caboose. No tanks, except outside armouries.

  16. In the broadest sense of the word “playground” you could say that the UK has a playground based around a T-34.
    There is a T-34 in South London and people occasionally do some cool graffiti on it and play on it.
    At one time it was pink :P
    Also the Bovington tank musuem does have a playground right outside of it. It’s practically right next to the Challenger outside the musuem. I’m guessing it’s not that rare for musuems to do this.

  17. Am i the only one who realised that the a(t/s) in the title is acually 1?
    Because s / t = a, so t / s = 1 / a
    And a × (1 / a) = 1


  18. Would have loved to have this as a kid. But i believe that having a tank at most off the playgrounds has a clear purpose.
    Where i live in belgium there is no place where you can climb on tanks as a normal citizen. Exept for a few monuments that is, and eaven there is usualy a sign to probit you.

  19. Russia has armored old soviet shit all over the place. Tanks, migs, etc. just google “russian tank grave yard”

  20. I can only imagine the uproar which would be caused by this in the USA w/ their safety-police.

    • There is not that much uproar however for the police becoming an army, however that does really frighten me.