Ukrainian officials have sent a Russian tank to Maryland as a not-so-small token of their gratitude to the United States.
Igor Novikov, a former advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, tweeted on April 15, “A small thank you gift to our friends in the US: a trophy T-90 tank on its way to Maryland” with the Russian flag and two other emojis: one saluting, and the other winking. The tweet also included a photo of a Russian tank.
Asked by a Twitter user whether Ukrainian officials forgot to send a tractor to pull the tank, Novikov responded that those were still needed on the field.
Novikov has not responded to Baltimore Fishbowl’s requests for comment as of this article’s publication. But the U.S. Department of Defense confirmed that a T-90 tank was sent to Aberdeen Proving Ground.
Baltimore Fishbowl reached out to the Department of Defense with questions about the tank, including why Maryland was chosen to receive the captured tank; what precedent, if any, is there for Ukraine sending Russian tanks and other military equipment to the U.S.; and the logistics of transporting the tank.
Sue Gough, spokesperson for Department of Defense, responded with the following statement:
“I can confirm that a T-90 tank was being transported to Aberdeen Proving Grounds, Maryland, when the truck transporting it suffered a mechanical issue. That issue has been fixed and the item is secure. The tank’s explosive reactive armor was inert, it was not armed or carrying any dangerous material, and at no point posed a risk to the public. This is part of our ongoing commitment to provide Ukraine the capabilities it needs to counter Russian aggression. For security reasons, we will not comment further on this matter.”
KPLC 7 News, the NBC affiliate in Lake Charles, Louisiana, reported last week that a Russian tank was stranded at a truck stop in Roanoke, Louisiana for two days with transmission problems.
Military news publication The War Zone reported that a shipping label on the main gun of the tank in Louisiana revealed that the tank was sent from Gdynia, Poland; arrived in Beaumont, Texas; and its “ultimate cosignee” is at Aberdeen Proving Ground, home of the U.S. Army Aberdeen Test Center.
Do you have baseball caps with the name “Aberdeen Proving Ground” printed on them?
Jim Gunn l
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