Russian military in annexed Crimea trains to intercept cruise missiles
Russia held military exercises using Triumph and Pantsir air defense missile systems, reported the Russian Defense Ministry.
"Combat crews of S-400 Triumph and Pantsir anti-aircraft missile systems from the Air Defense Forces of the Southern Military District conducted planned exercises to detect, track and destroy cruise missiles of a conditional enemy. The air targets of the conditional enemy "were modeled electronically with different parameters of flight speed and altitude, which made it harder for the crews to perform the training tasks," the report reads.
The Russian Ministry of Defense noted that due to the "high level of personnel training and capabilities, the Triumph and Pantsir air defense systems successfully completed the tasks”.
The S-400 Triumph system can hit ballistic targets flying at a speed of 4.8 km / s at a range of up to 60 km and designed to strike aircraft, cruise missiles and other means of aerospace attack.
Pantsir is a Russian land and sea-based self-propelled anti-aircraft missile and artillery system. Pantsir has been actively used in Syria.
In November 2018, Russia deployed the fourth division of the S-400 Triumph long-range system to Dzhankoy in northern Crimea, about 30 km from the border with Ukraine.
Earlier, three more S-400 divisions were deployed in Crimea: in January 2017 in Feodosia, in January 2018 in Sevastopol and in September 2018 in Yevpatoria.
In February 2014, armed people in uniforms without insignias appeared in Crimea and captured the Supreme Council of Crimea, the Simferopol Airport, the Kerch ferry crossing, and other strategic objects, and prevented the Ukrainian army from taking action. Initially, the Russian government refused to acknowledge that these armed people were Russian soldiers, but President Vladimir Putin later admitted it.
On 16 March 2014, a referendum on the status of Crimea was held in Crimea and Sevastopol, in which the inhabitants supposedly voted for the peninsula to become part of Russia. The outcome of the so-called referendum is not recognized by Ukraine, the EU or the US. On 18 March, Putin announced the “annexation” of Crimea to Russia.
International organizations have declared the annexation illegal and condemned Russia’s actions. Western countries have imposed economic sanctions on Russia in connection with the annexation. Russia claims to have “restored historical justice”. Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, declared 20 February 2014 the start of Russia’s temporary occupation of Crimea and Sevastopol.