Museum Of Military Equipment "Battle Glory Of The Urals"

Donat Sorokin/TASS
One of Sverdlovsk Oblast's principal tourist destinations is the Museum Of Military Equipment "Battle Glory Of The Urals", founded several years ago by the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company in Verkhnyaya Pyshma, one of Ekaterinburg's satellite towns.

The Museum exhibition follows the history of various types of domestic and foreign military equipment, from World War I to present day. The open air section of the museum includes dozens of exhibits, from a replica of the Komsomolets torpedo boat to a Msta self-propelled artillery platform.

A three-storey exhibition hall with an area of 7,000 square metres (75,347 square feet) was opened in 2013 and houses rare military and civilian exhibits dating from the World War II period and to post-war years. Each floor is dedicated to a specific collection: the first floor is given over to armoured cars, military vehicles and artillery platforms from World War II; the second floor displays vehicles produced by Soviet industry after the war; and the third-floor exhibit is dedicated to the history of Russia's military award system, uniforms and light weapons.

A railway exhibit was added to the museum's open air section in time for the 70th anniversary of the allied victory in the Second World War, known in Russia as Victory Day (May 9). It includes platforms displaying several unique locomotives, railway carriages and armoured trains. Among them is an eight-wheel passenger carriage from 1928 (during WWII these carriages were used as hospital trains), a four-wheel heated freight car, and an armoured train equipped with machine guns and flak cannons. A full-scale model of the Uzlovaya railway station, including the water tower, coal-handling crane and water pumps, was built for the exhibit.

Each year over 150,000 people visit the museum. On May 9, as part of the Victory Day celebrations, there is an annual parade of military equipment, restored by the transportation department of UralElectroMed (part of the Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company). Residents and visitors to Verkhnyaya Pyshma are treated to a stream of T-34, T-26 and BT-7 tanks, ISU-152 and SU-76M self-propelled units, and vintage American Willys and Dodge vehicles.