Russia Deploying Long Range Missiles Along Crimean Borders Raising Tensions Across Region

Russia is to deploy its advanced long-range surface-to-air missiles S-400 in Crimea, beefing up Russia’s anti-access/area-denial capabilities around the peninsula.

A full regiment system of S-400 Triumph is to be delivered to Crimea in August, told the media Lt. Col. Evgeny Oleinikov, deputy commander of the 18th missile air defense regiment of the 31 air defense division.

“After tests at a firing range… are complete, in August 2016 the accepted hardware will be transported to its permanent deployment site in the city of Feodosia,” he said.

The equipment was manufactured by S-400 producer Almaz Antey this year under a contract with the Russian Defense Ministry. The regiment’s personnel have been trained to use the new system earlier this year, the officer said.

Crimea is a former Ukrainian region, which opposed an armed coup in Kiev two years ago and voted in a referendum to rejoin Russia, from which it was rezoned during Soviet times. The peninsula is vital for Russian national security, and has been home base of the Russian Black Sea fleet for decades. Russian soldiers legally deployed in Crimea under a treaty with Ukraine provided security during the days of the referendum, when nationalists in Kiev threatened to attack the rebellious region.

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