Russia will permanently deploy an advanced air-defense system to Crimea next month as Moscow attempts to fortify the contested Black Sea peninsula from potential NATO intervention, officials said Friday.
The S-400 “Triumph” anti-aircraft missile system will be installed on the coastal port of Feodosia in August, said Lt. Col. Eugene Oleynikov, deputy commander of the 18th anti-aircraft missile regiment of the 31st Air Defense Division, Russian media reported.
The new air-defense system will be capable of firing both long- and medium-range missiles and is designed to reach targets up to 250 miles away.
Ruslan Balbec, the vice premier of the Crimean government, said the deployment will effectively ensure that any adversaries operating within the region’s airspace will instantly embark on a suicide mission once within the system’s reach, and he issued a warning to NATO “air hooligans” who may be inclined to see for themselves.
“For those who want to wander near the Crimean airspace or invade it — it is actually the act of suicide,” Mr. Balbec told RIA Novosti. “Without doubt, NATO has brave pilots, but there are no suicide bombers among them.”