Russians Move S-500 Air Defense System to Crimea: Ukraine Spy Chief

The Russian Armed Forces has moved its S-500 air defense system to occupied Crimea, the head of Ukraine’s Main Directorate of Intelligence Kyrylo Budanov said.

It is the latest addition to the Russian air defense family of systems, featuring better capabilities than its predecessors.

“The Russian air defense system is being strengthened,” Kyiv Independence quoted Budanov as saying.

“This is quite obvious and understandable. The newest elements of the S-500 have appeared. In principle, this will be their experimental application, but they have already appeared there [in Crimea].”

Ukrainian Strikes on Crimea

The development follows a brace of Ukrainian strikes in the occupied peninsula this week.

A Russian S-400 air defense system was hit near Dzhankoi on June 10, along with two S-300s near Chornomorske and Yevpatoria, according to the Ukrainian Armed Forces.

Two days later, Ukrainian forces destroyed the radars of the two systems.

Strikes have intensified since the delivery of ATACMS long-range missiles in October 2023, capable of hitting targets 300 kilometers (190 miles) away.

Russian S-400 in Crimea
Russian S-400 Triumf air defense missile system. Image: Russian Ministry of Defence

The S-500

Former Russian defense minister Sergei Shoigu said in April that the S-500, dubbed Prometheus, would enter service this year.

He added that two versions of the system would be deployed: anti-missile and anti-aircraft.

According to the US Department of Defense, the S-500 is designed to intercept short- to medium-range threats, allegedly including ballistic, cruise, and hypersonic missiles.


Produced by Russian state-owned defense company Almaz-Antey Concern, the system’s claimed intercept range is 600 kilometers (372 miles) and altitude 200 kilometers (124 miles).

It is also said to be capable of engaging 10 targets simultaneously and has a response time of three to four seconds, shorter than the S-400.

Other touted features include a more powerful jam-proof radar capable of detecting “near space” targets from a range of up to 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles).

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