As reported by Censor.NET, the activists of the InformNapalm international intelligence community found out that a number of T-72B and T-80BV main battle tanks that had earlier been removed from the operational use of the Russian army were delivered to the border area in the vicinity of Kantemirovka village (Voronezh Oblast of the Russian Federation).
"These tanks were spotted thanks to local residents actively getting selfies with this hardware temporarily deployed right next to the village [photo archives: 1,2,3]," the article reads.
Geolocation of images
The analysis was made using the pictures uploaded by local residents in March, April 2017. Some pictures were geotagged.
Coordinates of the amassed hardware (determined by geotagging, terrain and buildings): 49.721946, 39.858861.
Judging solely from the images taken by the locals, at least five T-80BV and several T-72B tanks are deployed only in the vicinity of the border village of Kantemirovka. The attention should be also drawn to appearance of the tanks: their side numbers are painted without stencils in unusual places.
It is noteworthy that the town of Boguchar where the Russian Federation constructs a huge military base is situated just 50 km to the north-east of Kantemirovka. Kremlin uses military bases at the border with Ukraine to deliver weapons, hardware and personnel to the Donbas. Here are several proofs that the tanks spotted in Kantemirovka are designated not for the Russian detachments deployed near the Ukrainian border, but for the combined Russian-separatist troops in the Donbas:
1. These types of tanks are no longer used by the Russian army
2. By 2014, the tank battalion of the 9th separate motorized rifle brigade had been equipped with T-72B tanks with their identifying numbers painted over and was sent along with the artillery detachments to the Rostov Oblast (the screenshots are provided below).
3. The enlarged image of T-80BV tank from Kantemirovka shows that it has peculiarities similar to the hardware designated for the militants.
Its side number (251) and outsized load marking (H2200) are unusually painted on the rubber hull side skirt. Active armor plates attached similar to T-64 tanks. However, their position on the T-80BV turret is similar to the way they are attached to Ukrainian T-72AV tank turrets (this visual modification was probably intentionally made by the Russians to mislead international observers identifying hardware).
The image shows Ukrainian T-72AB tanks for comparison.
"It is worth noting that the Russian retired tanks were redeployed to the border with Ukraine just when Ukroboronprom reported about refurbishment and ground tests of T-80 tanks in 2016. Therefore, the intentions to supply the militants with tanks of this type through the border village of Kantemirovka is fully justified from the point of view of Russia's hybrid tactics and fit the mainstream of the Kremlin's propaganda about 'military hardware taken as a trophy in war'," the article reads.
Related materials: Evidence of Russian aggression in Ukraine