The Ukrainian intelligence agency claimed it had destroyed a key Russian S-400 surface-to-air missile defense system in occupied Crimea. If confirmed, it would be another embarrassing blow for Moscow, as Ukraine increasingly targets Russia’s assets far behind the front line in southern and eastern Ukraine.
The agency, known by its acronym GUR, claimed on its official Telegram channel that Russia has a “limited number” of the sophisticated systems and that the loss “is a painful blow.” Moscow officials made no immediate comment.
The long-range S-400 missiles are capable of striking enemy aircraft and Russian propganda claimed the system as one of the best such systems available.
There, the Russians deployed an S-400 surface-to-air missile battery, a battery armed with Bastion anti-ship cruise missiles and a suite of radars including a Podlet K1 and potentially others.
Assisted by the Podlet, the S-400 battery could threaten aerial targets as far away as 250 miles—covering the entire western Black Sea—while the Bastion could hit ships at a distance of 190 miles or so. A Bastion also can strike targets on land.
Earlier, a three-hour nighttime Russian drone attack in Ukraine’s southern Odesa region overnight Tuesday caused a blaze at grain facilities, Odesa Regional Military Administration Head Oleh Kiper said.
The attack destroyed 13,000 metric tons (14,300 U.S. tons) of grain, bringing the month’s total grain losses to around 270,000 metric tons (300,000 U.S. tons), Ukrainian Infrastructure Minister Oleksandr Kubrakov said in a Facebook post.
Russia zeroed in on Odesa last month, crippling significant parts of the port city’s grain facilities, days after President Vladimir Putin broke off Russia’s participation in the Black Sea Grain Initiative. That wartime deal enabled Ukraine’s exports to reach many countries facing the threat of hunger.
Under a year of that deal, Ukraine shipped 32.9 million metric tons (36.2 million U.S. tons) of grain, most of it from the Odesa region.
Russian officials, meanwhile, claimed to have downed Ukrainian drones in Moscow and the surrounding region early Wednesday, the defense ministry and the mayor said. No casualties were reported in the drone attack, which has become almost a daily occurrence in the Russian capital.
Moscow Mayor Sergey Sobyanin said one drone smashed into a building under construction in Moscow City, a prestigious business complex hit by drones twice before. Several windows were broken in two buildings nearby and emergency services responded to the scene.
It blamed the attack on Ukraine and said two other drones were shot down by air defense systems in the Mozhaisk and Khimki areas of the Moscow region. Kyiv officials, as usual, neither confirmed nor denied Ukraine was behind the drone attacks.
Moscow airports briefly closed but have now reopened, according to Russian state media.
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