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Ukrainians take kids, pets, stuffed animals to visit abandoned Russian tanks, photos show

More than three months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the remnants of war have become a more permanent fixture in the everyday lives of Ukrainian citizens.

Photos show curious onlookers stopping to inspect broken down military vehicles. Some even let their dogs, goats and children play atop the abandoned war tanks on public display in the streets of Kyiv and across regions under bombardment.

Alina Filonenko told NPR’s Peter Granitz that she took her 4-year-old daughter to see the wreckage and understand what’s going on in their country.

Olya Ovcharuk, a kindergarten teacher before the invasion, described to NPR why she paid a visit.

“To see the vehicles that the monsters rode and what’s left of them,” Ovcharuk said. “There’s little doubt here that this is a display of death. That doesn’t stop people from taking selfies or climbing on and in the vehicles, feeling burnt flak jackets.”

Some symbols of carnage are beginning to rust as Russia’s assault continues to devastate the people, infrastructure and livelihood of Ukraine.

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A photograph taken on June 2, 2022, shows people walk among destroyed Russian military equipment exhibited in downtown Kyiv as Russian troops pounded the eastern Donbas region.

A burnt tank is seen in the overflowed Uhor river on May 31, 2022 in Kolychivka, Ukraine.

A burnt tank is seen in the overflowed Uhor river on May 31, 2022 in Kolychivka, Ukraine.

A dog poses for its owner on top of a destroyed Russian main battle tank that has been put on display in Saint Michael's Square for public viewing on June 04, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

A dog poses for its owner on top of a destroyed Russian main battle tank that has been put on display in Saint Michael’s Square for public viewing on June 04, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Pet goat Myra nibbles on a Russian soldiers hat on a destroyed Russian tank that has been put on display in Saint Michaels Square for public viewing on May 21, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Pet goat Myra nibbles on a Russian soldiers hat on a destroyed Russian tank that has been put on display in Saint Michaels Square for public viewing on May 21, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

A children's cuddly toy sits on top of a destroyed Russian main battle tank, next to war damaged homes, on May 24, 2022 in Hostomel, Ukraine.

A children’s cuddly toy sits on top of a destroyed Russian main battle tank, next to war damaged homes, on May 24, 2022 in Hostomel, Ukraine.

People driving back into Kyiv stop to take photographs of a destroyed Russian main battle tank on the main highway into the city on May 20, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

People driving back into Kyiv stop to take photographs of a destroyed Russian main battle tank on the main highway into the city on May 20, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

A destroyed Russian tank begins to rust in woodland near Kyiv on June 7, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

A destroyed Russian tank begins to rust in woodland near Kyiv on June 7, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

Late last month, a senior Defense Department official said that Russian military forces had lost 1,000 tanks, 350 artillery cannons, 50 helicopters and three dozen warplanes since invading Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Destroyed Russian main battle tanks and armored vehicles lay beside a road on May 25, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine.

Destroyed Russian main battle tanks and armored vehicles lay beside a road on May 25, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine.

People photograph and inspect destroyed Russian main battle tanks and armored vehicles laying beside a road on May 25, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine.

People photograph and inspect destroyed Russian main battle tanks and armored vehicles laying beside a road on May 25, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine.

A Ukrainian serviceman inspects an abandoned munitions next to a destroyed Russian military vehicle near the village of Mala Rogan east of Kharkiv, on May 13, 2022.

A Ukrainian serviceman inspects an abandoned munitions next to a destroyed Russian military vehicle near the village of Mala Rogan east of Kharkiv, on May 13, 2022.

Ukrainian servicemen walk next to a destroyed military vehicle in the village of Rus'ka Lozova, north of Kharkiv, on May 28, 2022.

Ukrainian servicemen walk next to a destroyed military vehicle in the village of Rus’ka Lozova, north of Kharkiv, on May 28, 2022.

A burnt Ukrainian tank on May 31, 2022 in Kolychivka, Ukraine.

A burnt Ukrainian tank on May 31, 2022 in Kolychivka, Ukraine.

A tank's tower is seen among the flowers on May 31, 2022 in Kolychivka, Ukraine. Chernihiv, northeast of Kyiv, was an early target of Russia's offensive after its Feb. 24 invasion. While they failed to capture the city, Russian forces battered large parts of Chernihiv and the surrounding region in their attempted advance toward the capital.

A tank’s tower is seen among the flowers on May 31, 2022 in Kolychivka, Ukraine. Chernihiv, northeast of Kyiv, was an early target of Russia’s offensive after its Feb. 24 invasion. While they failed to capture the city, Russian forces battered large parts of Chernihiv and the surrounding region in their attempted advance toward the capital.

A worker controls the removal of a destroyed Russian tank near the village of Stoyanka,  outside Kyiv on June 1, 2022.

A worker controls the removal of a destroyed Russian tank near the village of Stoyanka, outside Kyiv on June 1, 2022.

Destroyed Russian armoured vehicles cars and trucks are piled together on wasteland on the outskirts of the Bucha war zone  on May 19, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine.

Destroyed Russian armoured vehicles cars and trucks are piled together on wasteland on the outskirts of the Bucha war zone on May 19, 2022 in Bucha, Ukraine.

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A boy walks on a Ukrainian APC close to the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, on May 9, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. This year, Ukrainian leaders focused their World War II victory commemorations on May 8, when western Europe celebrates VE Day, rather than the May 9th date venerated by Russia and former Soviet bloc countries.

A boy walks on a Ukrainian APC close to the National Museum of the History of Ukraine in the Second World War, on May 9, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine. This year, Ukrainian leaders focused their World War II victory commemorations on May 8, when western Europe celebrates VE Day, rather than the May 9th date venerated by Russia and former Soviet bloc countries.

An artwork of a bird is sprayed on the side of a destroyed Russian main battle tank a laying beside a road on May 25, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine. As Russia concentrates its attack on the east and south of the country, residents of the Kyiv region are returning to assess the war's toll on their communities. The towns around the capital were heavily damaged following weeks of brutal war as Russia made its failed bid to take Kyiv.

An artwork of a bird is sprayed on the side of a destroyed Russian main battle tank a laying beside a road on May 25, 2022 in Irpin, Ukraine. As Russia concentrates its attack on the east and south of the country, residents of the Kyiv region are returning to assess the war’s toll on their communities. The towns around the capital were heavily damaged following weeks of brutal war as Russia made its failed bid to take Kyiv.

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Camille Fine is a trending visual producer on USA TODAY’s NOW team. She loves to make pizza, photograph friends, and spoil her loving cat, Pearl.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Photos: Destroyed war tanks, armored vehicles on display in Ukraine