Members of the US military are seen next to a Bradley Fighting Vehicle as preparations are made for the "Salute to America" Fourth of July event with US President Donald Trump at the Lincoln Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC, July 3.
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI—AFP/Getty Images
By Tara Law
July 6, 2019

Journalists on Russian state-owned media were underwhelmed by President Trump’s Independence Day parade.

Commentators on Russian news channel Rossiya 24 and the popular program 60 Minutes criticized the Washington, D.C. event for showcasing older military machinery that they said looked like it was held together with “adhesive tape” and covered with “peeling paint.”

Journalist Artem Krasulin on Rossiya 24 pointed out that the machinery’s guns didn’t have barrels, and that some of the weapons on display looked “battered.”

“Asked by journalists why no new technology was brought to the center of Washington, the Pentagon answered…. the White House requested these exact machines,” Krasulin said.

On 60 Minutes, some of the commentators chuckled as they watched Fox News clips discussing how the parade would remind Americans that the President is “changing all of our lives.”

Commentators also criticized the U.S. for lambasting Russian military parades, including the country’s annual May 9 Victory Day celebration, which commemorates the Allied victory over the Nazis. Critics have argued that President Vladimir Putin has tried to co-opt the Allied victory to promote Russian power.

“Trump declared that the [American] military parade is democratic and beautiful, and we remember that the Russian parade is totalitarian and terrible,” said journalist Olga Skabeeva.

In the United States, criticism of the display has focused on the parade’s cost and a perception that the President seized on a nonpartisan celebration of the country for political ends.

Trump, at least, appears to have been pleased by the parade. Over the past few days, he’s retweeted photos of the event and commentary praising the spectacle.

Write to Tara Law at tara.law@time.com.

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