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NATO BEHOLD: Russia’s Astonishing S-400s in Crimea

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In military drills currently being held in Crimea, Russian S-400 Triumph and Pantsir anti-aircraft systems have demonstratively repelled a seaborne attack from a virtual enemy.

After neutralizing their targets, the systems practiced the operational change of their launch positions.

“In the previous launch positions, the gunners installed pneumatic models mimicking the S-400 systems,” the head of Russia’s Southern Military District’s Press Service, Colonel Vadim Astafiev, explained.

In addition, as part of the exercises, virtual enemy ships launched projectiles against Bal and Bastion coastal systems, in response to which these simulated naval targets were attacked by Su-30SM fighters and Su-34 fighter-bombers.

These joint war games involving Russia’s Air Force, Black Sea Fleet, and air defense units have been launched in Crimea under the direction of Colonel-General Aleksandr Dvornikov. Some 6,000 military personnel, plus a hundred airplanes and helicopters, are participating in the maneuvers in Crimea.

Previously it was reported that Russia has decided to strengthen its Crimean anti-aircraft cluster with Pantsir-S1 air defense systems this year.

The Pantsir-S1 airborne and ground-based air defense system is designed to protect civilian and military installations from all air threats at any time and under any weather conditions. The system can also defend against surface and naval threats.

“All of the anti-aircraft missiles from the air and air defense armies in Crimea have been retrofitted with Triumph anti-aircraft missile systems and are expected to provide a Pantsir-S1 air defense systems division,” said Viktor Sevostyanov, commander of the 4th air and air defense arm of the Southern Military District.

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Sevostyanov noted that the Triumph systems have already provenly their success in defense operations and providing cover for ships departing out to sea.

These Crimean war games are especially notable for several reasons.

Firstly, the neighboring Black Sea states of Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey are all NATO members, and therefore could be staging points or participants in any NATO assault on Russia. However, Bulgaria and Turkey have a unique, evolving relationship with Russia which partially depends on Russia’s ability to successfully project a strong alternative for security that discourages these states’ further subservience to US-NATO operations in the region. 

Secondly, a number of states around the world, such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Turkey, India, and others have expressed interest in or are already holding negotiations on purchasing S-400 systems from Russia. Russia’s showing off of its S-400’s in action in a potential conflict zone with NATO is an impressionable advertisement. 

Thirdly, these Crimean war games are also an umpteenth demonstration that Ukraine and its (domestic and foreign) warmongers have no chance of overcoming Russia’s sophisticated defense of the Crimean peninsula which reunified with the Russian Federation following a popular referendum in 2014. 

Almost needless to say, Russia’s Crimea-based military exercises are held in close proximity to US and NATO forces, and numerous experts have cited Crimea’s strategic significance as a major drive behind Russia’s integration and prioritization of the peninsula. With such impressive, multi-faceted drills, Russia is demonstrating that Crimea will not only not be surrendered, but is being trained as a major line of defense in any assault on the Russian World.

This is a major hallmark of Russia’s strategy of combining shows of force with offers of cooperation, such as with the advertisement of S-400’s to states who are weary of clinging to the declining US unipolar project’s military hegemony. 

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