At the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine some 14 months ago, a curious reality came into view: Russia wasn’t going to win this one easily, if at all.
In fact, the entire debacle has been embarrassing for the Kremlin from the start, as the first few weeks of the war saw untold numbers of Russian soldiers surrendering en masse to Ukraine, and it saw Ukrainians absconding with some rather heavy-duty military armaments.
This included several infamous incidents in which Ukraine’s farmers would use their tractors to steal abandoned Russian tanks.
After 12 days of stealing (3-8-22) Putin's tanks, Ukrainian farmers are now unofficially the fifth-largest military in Europe. #image 333 pic.twitter.com/qA6EVw8Vuf
— Bill M Moore (@BillMoore20) March 29, 2023
But now, in a rather stunning turn of events, one of these pilfered war machines has wound up at a gas station in Louisiana, of all places.
The folks at Peto’s Travel Center and Casino in Roanoke, Louisiana see all kinds of vehicles pull up, but Tuesday night was different. What ended up in their parking lot is certainly something of a mystery, to say the least.
Someone left a Russian T-90A tank, which open source intelligence (OSINT) trackers say was captured by Ukraine last fall, on a trailer after the truck hauling it broke down and pulled into this truck stop off U.S. Interstate 10. An employee at Peto’s, and the individual who first posted the images on Reddit, shared them with The War Zone.
The images were stunning.
Shock as one of Putin's T-90 tanks is spotted at Louisiana truck stop | The US Sun https://t.co/DS6k8yJrtN
— ONE WING DUCK (@ONEWINGDUCK1) April 16, 2023
They stopped for coffee and donuts?
After doing a little bit of digging, the tank’s purpose and destination were discovered.
Thanks to a shipping label on the barrel of the main gun of a Russian T-90A tank that wound up at a Louisiana truck stop, we now have an idea where it came from and where it may have been headed before the truck hauling it broke down Tuesday night, leaving it sitting at Peto’s Travel Center and Casino.
You can read our original story on the mysterious tank in question here.
The shipping label, photographs of which were shared with us by Louisiana resident John Phelps, shows it was sent from an organization called the “multinational assessment field team” with the port of embarkation listed as Gdynia, Poland. Its port of destination was Beaumont, Texas, about 90 miles west of where the tank wound up. The “ultimate consignee” on the label is Building 358, 6850 Lanyard Rd., Aberdeen Proving Ground. That’s the home of the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center (ATC).
The tank will likely be studied in depth to ascertain whatever information about the Russian military that ATC can pry from her.
Today, “ATC is the Defense Department’s lead agency for land-combat, direct-fire, and live-fire vulnerability testing,” according to ATC. “ATC is a multi-purpose test center with diverse capabilities. It has become a world-class testing, training, modeling, simulation, and experimentation facility that gives American Warfighters superior materiel and technology.”
As an example of what ATC does, in 2019, we wrote about how the Army was going to blow up an old 747 there to test the vulnerabilities of commercial aircraft to explosives.
The news will almost certainly infuriate Vladimir Putin and his Kremlin cronies, who’ve been adamant about keeping the West out of their business.
Cross-Posted with Liberty Hub