Putin deploys air defense systems around Moscow amid fears of Ukrainian attacks on the capital

Putin deploys air defense systems around Moscow amid fears of Ukrainian attacks on the capital

Russia has deployed its deadly anti-aircraft systems around Moscow in a sign that Vladimir Putin is preparing for a possible attack from Ukraine.

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

The S-400 “Triumf” air defense system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground targets.

The Moscow operation came after two suspected Ukrainian drone strikes in December hit two air bases deep in Russia’s interior and damaged two nuclear-capable bombers believed to be preparing to attack Ukraine.

Russia is openly deploying its deadly anti-aircraft systems around Moscow as a sign that Vladimir Putin is preparing for possible attacks from Ukraine in retaliation for deadly attacks

The S-400 “Triumf” air defense system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles.  It can also be used against ground targets

The S-400 “Triumf” air defense system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground targets

Putin has now deployed Russia's fearsome S-400 anti-missile missiles in the capital amid fears Ukraine could launch attacks on the city

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

THE RUSSIAN S-400 AIR DEFENSE MISSILE: ITS KEY STATISTICS

Cost: $400 million per launcher group (eight launchers, 112 missiles and one commando unit)

Missile range: 248 miles

Rocket Speed: 11,000 miles per hour

Simultaneously track: 80 targets

An S-400 air defense system with a range of 248 miles was deployed in fields of the Russian State Agricultural University, northwest of Moscow.

Another was deployed in Losiny Ostrov National Park, near the Sokolniki district in the north-east of the city.

The S-400 can shoot down up to 80 targets at once and is said to be able to fly at speeds in excess of 16,000 km/h.

Residents say the operations are new to Moscow, emphasizing Putin’s fears of a hit in 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 during an airstrike in December, damaging two Tu-95 bombers used in airstrikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure.

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

Another blast hit the Russian military base at Dyagilevo near the town of Ryazan, some 470 miles from the Ukrainian border, killing three people after a tanker truck blew up.

Putin has now deployed Russia's fearsome S-400 anti-missile missiles in the capital amid fears Ukraine could launch attacks on the city

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

Despite several attacks by Russia on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, Moscow has not yet been hit.

Meanwhile, the General Staff of Ukraine’s Armed Forces said on Wednesday that Russia and Ukraine had exchanged fire on the Eastern Front, where neither of them had made much progress in recent months.

In the past 24 hours, Russian forces have been shelling the Luhansk and Donetsk regions, where nearly 30 settlements have been shelled, including the towns of Soledar and Bakhmut and the village of Klishchiivka, the military report said.

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

The S-400 (pictured in Crimea in 2018) can shoot down up to 80 targets at once and is said to be able to fly at speeds in excess of 10,000 miles per hour

The S-400 (pictured in Crimea in 2018) can shoot down up to 80 targets at once and is said to be able to fly at speeds in excess of 10,000 miles per hour

Russia claims it has captured the small mining town of Soledar near Bakhmut, a focus of recent fighting, but Kyiv says its forces are still fighting there.

“The situation is complicated. Fighting is still going on on the streets of Soledar and Ukrainian forces are fighting hard. Part of the city is occupied,” Petro Kuzyk, commander of the Ukraine National Guard’s Freedom Battalion, was quoted as saying by news website Espreso TV.

Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov said in a YouTube video that eyewitnesses noticed Russian soldiers at the train station in the town of Sil, north of Soledar.

The number of Wagner fighters, who played an important role in the recent forays into Donbass, is much smaller as Russian soldiers and conscripts are now leading the attacks, he added.

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

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a domestic news outlet that rumors that Putin would announce changes to the war effort, such as general mobilization, were untrue.