Putin deploys air defence systems around Moscow

Putin deploys air defence systems around Moscow amid fears of Ukrainian strikes on the capital

  • Vladimir Putin has deployed S-400 defence missiles to Russian capital Moscow
  • The S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence system, with a range of 248 miles, is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles
  • Its deployment to Moscow comes after two suspected Ukrainian drone strikes hit two air bases deep inside Russia in December, damaging two bombers

Russia has deployed its lethal anti-aircraft systems around Moscow in a sign that Vladimir Putin is taking precautions against a potential strikes from Ukraine. 

Putin has now deployed Russia’s fearsome S-400 defence missiles to two locations in the capital amid fears Kyiv could launch attacks on the city.

The S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground objectives.

Its deployment to Moscow comes after two suspected Ukrainian drone strikes hit two air bases deep inside Russia in December, damaging two nuclear-capable bombers that were thought to be preparing for an attack on Ukraine.

Russia is openly deploying its lethal anti-aircraft systems around Moscow in a sign that Vladimir Putin is taking precautions against a potential strikes from Ukraine in retaliation to deadly strikes

The S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground objectives

Putin has now deployed Russia’s fearsome S-400 defence missiles to the capital amid fears Ukraine could launch attacks on the city

Cost: $400m per launcher group (Eight launchers, 112 missiles, and a command unit)

Missile Range: 248 miles

Missile Speed: 11,000mph

Simultaneously tracking: 80 targets

One S-400 air defence system, which has a range of 248 miles, has been deployed in fields belonging to the Russian State Agricultural University in the northwest of Moscow.

Another has been deployed to the Losiny Ostrov National Park near Sokolniki district in the northeast of the city.

The S-400 is capable of shooting down up to 80 targets simultaneously and is said to be able to travel at a speed of more than 10,000mph.

Residents say the deployments are new in Moscow, and highlights Putin’s fears of a hit on his largest city.

It comes after two suspected Ukrainian drone strikes hit two air bases in Saratov and Ryazan in December. 

The Engels-2 airbase, near the city of Saratov, was hit by an explosion in December in a strike that left two Tu-95 bombers – which have been used to carry out airstrikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure – damaged.

The base is some 450 miles from the nearest point in Ukraine. 

Another explosion hit Russia’s Dyagilevo military base near the city of Ryazan, about 470 miles from the Ukrainian border, killing three people after a fuel truck detonated.

Putin has now deployed Russia’s fearsome S-400 defence missiles to the capital amid fears Ukraine could launch attacks on the city

Despite multiple strikes by Russia on Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, Moscow has not yet been hit.

Meanwhile, the General Staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces said on Wednesday that Russia and Ukraine had exchanged fire on the eastern frontline, where neither has advanced much in recent months.

Over the past 24 hours, Russian forces pounded the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where nearly 30 settlements were shelled, including the towns of Soledar and Bakhmut as well as the village of Klishchiivka, the military’s report said.

Ukrainian forces repelled attacks in Bakhmut and the village of Klishchiivka just south of it in Donetsk, it added.

The S-400 (pictured in Crimea in 2018) is capable of shooting down up to 80 targets simultaneously and is said to be able to travel at a speed of more than 10,000mph

Russia claims to have captured the small mining town of Soledar near Bakhmut, a focal point of recent fighting, but Kyiv says its forces are still fighting there.

‘The situation is complicated. Fighting is still going on in the streets of Soledar and Ukrainian forces are fighting hard. Part of the town in occupied,’ Petro Kuzyk, commander of the ‘Freedom’ battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard, was quoted as saying by the Espreso TV news website.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said in a YouTube video that eyewitnesses had noted Russian soldiers at the railway station in the town of Sil – just north of Soledar.

The number of Wagner fighters-for-hire, who played a major role in recent advances in Donbas, is much smaller, with Russian soldiers and conscripts now spearheading attacks, he added.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to visit St Petersburg on Wednesday, the 80th anniversary of the day Soviet forces managed to open a narrow land corridor to the city – then known as Leningrad – and break a Nazi blockade that had lasted since September 1941.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a domestic news agency that there was no truth to rumours Putin would announce changes to the war effort such as a general mobilisation.

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