Tank battles and Stalin selfies at Belarussian war museum

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon

14 PHOTOS
Inside the Belarussian war museum
See Gallery
Inside the Belarussian war museum
Military enthusiasts take part in a re-enactment of a World War II battle at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A general view shows the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus May 28, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Military enthusiasts take part in a re-enactment of a World War II battle at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
A woman takes a picture of children at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Joseph Stalin's monument is pictured at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
People visit the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus May 28, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Children draw on a military vehicle at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Military enthusiasts take part in a re-enactment of a World War II battle at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
A girl holds an air rifle at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
Military enthusiasts take part in a re-enactment of a World War II battle at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Visitors watch military enthusiasts taking part in a re-enactment of a World War II battle at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
Military enthusiasts take part in a re-enactment of a World War II battle at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus September 10, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES
A woman looks at Joseph Stalin's monument at the "Stalin Line" memorial near the village of Goroshki, Belarus July 2, 2016. REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko SEARCH " STALIN MUSEUM" FOR THIS STORY. SEARCH "WIDER IMAGE" FOR ALL STORIES.
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

MINSK, Nov 1(Reuters) - At Belarus's Stalin Line museum visitors can watch reenactments of World War Two battles, fire Soviet-era weapons and even pose for photographs next to a wreath-decked monument to Josef Stalin himself.

The open air complex 30 km (19 miles) outside Minsk was built to mark the 60th anniversary of the end of the war and showcases some of the fortifications built to protect the Soviet Union's Western flank - concrete bunkers and gun emplacements nicknamed 'Stalin's Line.'

More than 20 million Soviet soldiers and citizens died as a result of the war and the museum is dedicated to those killed on the Western front line.

"I often come here and always with my sons. They like to watch the battles and then climb around on the actual military equipment and hold weapons in their hands. It's the best way to remember the history of our country," said Vera, a mother of two.

Other visitors expressed concern that the museum appeared to honor Stalin for his defeat of Nazi Germany without mention of his repressive policies which led to the death of millions of people during bloody purges and the forced collectivization of farms.

"He's represented in a one-sided way here - there's not a word about his, let's say, leading role in the mass repressions at the end of the 1930s," said computer programmer Andrei, declining to give his last name.

Stalin led the Soviet Union from the 1920s to his death in 1953. He is revered among some in what was the Soviet Union for his role as war leader. But tens of millions of people - the exact number is unknown - died as a result of his policies.

Belarus is Russia's closest ally and has been run along Soviet-style command lines by President Alexander Lukashenko since 1994 in what the United States described in 2005 as "Europe's last dictatorship."

More on AOL.com:
15 photos of the Nazi onslaught in the Battle of Britain
Fall heat wave to smash records into first days of November
Holy icons, dazed dog saved from rubble in quake-hit Italy

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners