The Kremlin declined to say on Friday whether Russia is preparing for attacks on Moscow after footage surfaced on social media showing air defense systems being installed in the Russian capital.
• Also read: The Kremlin warns that supplying long-range weapons to Kyiv would lead to an escalation
The images appeared to show Pantsir S-1 systems designed specifically to intercept cruise missiles and ballistic missiles.
The air defense system in Moscow 🇷🇺 will be strengthened.
According to local broadcasters, a few kilometers from the Kremlin, a Pantsir-S1 SAM system was installed on the roof of a building. pic.twitter.com/8jFuTMwJaA
—Jason Jay Smart (@officejjsmart) January 20, 2023
Muscovites have seen one emerge near a Defense Ministry building or another hoisted onto the roof of a building in central Moscow.
According to Russian media, another Pantsir was installed around ten kilometers from President Vladimir Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogariovo near Moscow.
Asked whether Russia fears Moscow is a target, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov declined to answer on Friday, referring the question to the Defense Ministry.
“You are responsible for ensuring the security of the country in general and the capital in particular, so it is better to ask the Defense Ministry about all the measures taken,” Peskov told reporters.
Contacted by AFP, the Department of Defense did not respond.
Russia has seen several attacks attributed to Ukraine in recent months, ranging from sabotage and drone strikes to artillery shelling of border regions.
In December, Moscow accused Ukraine of several drone strikes on a strategic bomber base in Engels in the Saratov Region, 600 km from the Ukrainian border.
Kyiv is demanding supplies of long-range weapons from the West to penetrate deep into Russian logistics lines. However, the latter fear that such weapons will lead to an escalation of the conflict that began in 2022.