Does a lunch of army rations or shopping for mainly Vladimir Putin accessories sound like fun? How about instead of riding roller coasters playing with grenade launchers?
That's exactly what visitors will get when they visit Russia's Patriot Park, unveiled by, who else? Vladimir Putin, on Tuesday.
Located an hour’s drive from Moscow in the town of Kubinka, Patriot Park will host tens of thousands of visitors daily, where they’ll have the opportunity to witness reconstructions of famous Russian military victories, operate military simulators and experience military equipment firsthand.
The park will be “an important element in our system of military-patriotic work with young people,” said Putin, who relishes the idea of Russian child soldiers, as we covered here and here. The entire construction reportedly cost over $360 million.
But it won't just be a “military Disneyland” as Patriot Park is also a full service conference and exhibition venue. On Tuesday it hosted Army 2015, a Russian military exhibition showcasing the latest equipment. The event is a lackluster rival to the Paris International Air Show, which is occurring this week and where most of the world's militaries present their latest technology for purchase.
Russia is, of course, not welcome and so decided to throw its own arms trade show.
Putin arrived is style fit for a czar, by helicopter and speaking in front of a military choir and balalaika orchestra, who belted out patriotic songs. Putin touted the Russian next-generation Armata tank, which broke down during its unveiling at a military parade in Moscow last month.
Putin promised that hotels and entertainment centers will be opened on the grounds, which will allow families to visit for several days and have a complete holiday, according to promotional literature distributed at the unveiling.
Like many Russian construction projects the park isn't yet finished and is due to be fully completed in 2017.