Petrol station staff in the United States were left perplexed on Tuesday after a Russian tank, believed to have been captured by Ukraine in the autumn, inexplicably emerged in their parking lot. According to open-source intelligence (OSINT) trackers, the T-90A tank was discovered on a trailer at Peto’s Travel Center and Casino in Roanoke, Louisiana.
It is believed the vehicle delivering the tank broke down and was subsequently parked at Peto’s truck stop, located off US Highway 10.
A Reddit user and a Peto’s staff member on The War Zone website published images of the tank in the hopes of solving the mystery surrounding its existence, according to the Daily Star.
“I’ve been here seven years,” assistant manager Valerie Mott told The War Zone on Thursday morning, adding: “I’ve never seen [a tank] here before.”
Manager Cody Sellers, meanwhile, was equally as confused, admitting he didn’t know who left the tank, where it came from, or where it was heading.
“The transmission went out on the truck that was hauling this big old trailer,” said Sellers.
After noticing the post, a member of the Oryx and Warspotting OSINT groups that track military equipment used in the war in Ukraine offered his assessment.
“It belonged to Russia’s 27th Separate Guards Motorized Rifle Brigade, 1st Guards Tank Army… It was abandoned in Kurylivka, Kharkiv Oblast (49.660195, 37.699288) around September 25, 2022,” he said.
“It was captured by Ukraine’s 92nd Separate Mechanized Brigade, hence the yellow 9s on the tank while in Louisiana (this is the marking the 92nd puts on their equipment).”
A spokesman at the US Army’s Joint Readiness Training Center in Fort Polk 60 miles away also weighed in.
“I contacted my operations people,” Deven B. King told The War Zone.
“They did not immediately know anything about a Russian tank coming to Fort Polk but said they would look into it and let me know.”
King added that the tank may not have any connection to the US military at all.
“My opinion is this tank is probably owned by a private citizen or company. I spoke to the staff at Peto’s.
“They said a couple [of] gentlemen dropped it there Tuesday and said they had to go to Houston to get another truck to haul it.
“They have not returned yet. It doesn’t seem likely the military would leave something like that unattended. I’ll let you know if I hear anything else.”
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