Russia to deploy S-400 missile systems in Northern Crimea
Russian Federation plans to deploy S-400 air defense systems to cover the Crimean peninsula, UNIAN news agency reported on Jan. 10. The systems, as part of a layered defense, are said to focus on controlling airspace over the towns of Armiansk and Chonhar, which lie on opposite sides of the border between Kherson Oblast and Crimea. The system is being deployed in response to recent missile tests by the Ukrainian armed forces.
James Hydzik: While the deployment is said to focus on short-range air coverage, the S-400 can be configured in a variety of ways to hit targets out to 400 km. Placement in northern-most Crimea would cover airspace almost all the way to Kyiv, which would deny the Ukrainian armed forces air superiority over the majority of the country in the event of a Russian incursion into the south. The connection between the deployment and the arrival of the American guided missile destroyer USS Carney to Odesa is not mentioned, but we do not consider it a coincidence. Since the systems are based in Sevastopol’, though, the move can easily be taken back and put forward at will as saber-rattling during the upcoming talks with the U.S. and NATO.