Russia is urgently beefing up its air defenses in Moscow amid clear fears of a large-scale attack on the capital from Ukraine, with an anti-aircraft system also set up near Vladimir Putin’s official residence outside outside the capital.
A Pantsir-S1 defense system appeared on the roof of the Russian Defense Ministry’s National Defense Management Center (NTsUO) on Frunzenskaya Embankment, the command center for Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
A video showed the same powerful system being lifted onto a rooftop in Teterinsky Lane in the Taganka district, one and a half kilometers from the Kremlin.
And in another clip, the installation of another Pantsir-S1 complex emerged near the Russian President’s retreat in Novo-Ogarevo, obviously to protect him from Ukrainian drones or missiles.
Pictured: A Pantsir missile system (circled) is pictured atop the Russian Defense Ministry’s National Defense Management Center – the command center for Vladimir Putin’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine – on the Frunzenskaya quay in Moscow, the Russian capital
A Pantsir missile system is pictured being installed on top of a building in Moscow, Russia. Installations suggest Kremlin officials fear capital could be attacked
The pro-Russian Telegram channel Military Informant acknowledged it was an admission that Moscow, with a population of 12 million, is now vulnerable, with the deployment stressing that “the military are afraid of a possible struck”.
On Wednesday, photographs of the modern S-400 missile defense system appeared in two locations, one in fields belonging to the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy northwest of the city, another island of Losiny in a national park to the northeast where trees were felled for the installation.
There are reports of such deployments at half a dozen sites in Moscow, as Putin bolsters his defenses in the capital daily.
Ukraine is believed to be looking to extend its reach with missiles and drones in Russia. A report says the Sokol-300 Punisher drone could hit targets deep in Russia with a range of up to 2,050 miles.
It has a load of 300 kg and can carry guided missiles.
Russian military journalist Alexander Kots: “I was asked to comment on the installation of air defense systems in several Moscow parks and on the roofs of buildings.
“Images and videos are shared on different Telegram channels…
“I see this as a very positive signal.”
This means that defense chiefs “clearly understand all the risks and understand that strikes in Moscow and the Moscow region are a matter of time”.
“It’s good that they started to prepare in advance, and not after the first strikes.”
Pictured: A Pantsir missile system is seen on top of an administrative building in Moscow, Russia. The pro-Russian Telegram channel Military Informant acknowledged it was an admission that Moscow, with a population of 12 million, is now vulnerable to attack
Pictured: S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defense systems are seen in Moscow. The system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles
So far, Kyiv has struck areas bordering its territory but has only carried out limited air attacks in Russia, although various explosions and fires at energy facilities and shopping centers may mean that Ukraine has a capacity of sabotage.
Putin’s spokesman today declined to comment on air defenses in Moscow. It was up to the Ministry of Defense to explain the facilities, he said.
“They are responsible for ensuring the security of the country in general and the capital in particular,” he said.
Retired Colonel Viktor Litovkin told RTVI: “Good air defense systems have been placed on the roofs of the largest buildings in Moscow to protect against Ukrainian cruise missile or drone attacks.
“During the special military operation, you need to protect yourself, because Ukraine has the opportunity to strike from long distances.”
This is clear from attacks on airbases, including Engels-2, when Ukraine used repurposed Soviet-era Tu-141 reconnaissance drones, he said.
“They have been redesigned, modernized.
“The Americans helped create an on-board software system that allows drones to go to specific targets. “They helped provide these drones with a combat load – so no precaution is useless.”
Western countries supplying Ukraine have so far refused to give Kyiv weapons that could strike deep inside Russian territory for fear that such attacks could push Russia into further escalating the conflict.
As a result, Ukraine is developing its own long-range drones.
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: “Potentially, this is extremely dangerous.”
“It will mean taking the conflict to a whole new level, which of course does not bode well from a global and pan-European security perspective.”
And yesterday Moscow doubled down on the threat from Putin’s close ally Dmitry Medvedev, who said Russia’s defeat on the battlefield in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear war with the West.
Following his warning on Thursday, Moscow confirmed that his inflammatory remarks were fully in line with Russian nuclear doctrine.
Russia openly deploys anti-aircraft systems around Moscow in sign that Putin is taking precautions against a possible strike from Ukraine in retaliation for deadly strikes
Putin has now deployed the dreaded Russian S-400 defense missiles to two locations in the capital, fearing Ukraine will launch attacks on the city.
The former Russian president appeared to be warning NATO leaders to halt deliveries of major new weapons to Kyiv, ahead of a meeting today in Germany.
‘Tomorrow at Ramstein Base at [Germany]top military leaders will discuss new tactics and strategies, as well as deliveries of new heavy weapons and strike systems to Ukraine,” Medvedev said.
“And that’s right after the Davos Forum, where underdeveloped [Western] supporters of political parties repeat like a mantra: “To achieve peace, Russia must lose”.
If Russia loses, it will trigger a nuclear war, said Medvedev, who as Russian president from 2008 to 2012 once had his finger on the Kremlin’s nuclear trigger.
Ukraine used long-range Soviet-era drones to strike Engels-2 in the Saratov region on December 5, injuring two on the ground, and on December 26, when the official death toll was set at three.
During the first strike, at least two Tu-95 Bear strategic nuclear bombers were damaged.
The base is approximately 450 miles from the nearest point in Ukraine.
Putin used Engels-2 bombers to carry out conventional strikes on Ukraine.
On December 5, Ukraine also struck an airbase in Ryazan, 470 miles from the border. The attacks led to warnings in Russia that Moscow was threatened by “the enemy”.
Despite the multiple strikes by the Russian aggressor on the Ukrainian capital Kyiv, Moscow has not yet been affected.
The Pantsir system is designed to protect government and industrial facilities against aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and military drones.
Earlier this week it was reported that Putin had deployed Russia’s fearsome S-400 missile defense system at two locations in the capital amid fears of an attack.
The S-400 “Triumf” is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground targets.
An S-400 air defense system, with a range of 248 miles, was deployed in fields belonging to the Russian State Agricultural University northwest of Moscow. Another was deployed in Losiny Ostrov National Park, near the Sokolniki district, northeast of the city.
The S-400 is capable of shooting down up to 80 targets simultaneously and is said to be capable of traveling at speeds of over 10,000 mph.
Residents say the deployments are new to Moscow and underscore Putin’s fears of a blow to his biggest city. Despite multiple Russian strikes on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Moscow has yet to be hit.