A Pantsir anti-aircraft system has allegedly been installed just a few kilometers from Russian President Vladimir Putin’s official residence in the town of Valdai in Russia’s Novgorod region, a local resident told independent news outlet Agentstvo.

According to locals, who provided the editorial with a photo of the system, it was installed “a few weeks ago.” They also added that the complex is “on combat alert” and at least three soldiers guard the object at all times.

The air defense system reportedly appeared near the Valdai residence shortly after Ukrainian drones attacked Russian military airfields near Ryazan and in Engels, Saratov region – far from the frontline.

Recently, the same anti-aircraft systems have been seen on buildings in the center of Moscow and at a short distance from the Rublevsky Highway near Moscow, where many of the Russian elite live.

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According to Agentstvo, these air defense systems are being erected to protect Putin and his family from a possible Ukrainian strike.

Putin's Valdai residence is typically used by Putin, his family and friends for leisure purposes. Putin also uses it to meet with VIP guests.

There is no critical infrastructure, strategic facilities, large enterprises, or large concentrations of military equipment and personnel in the area.

Last week, photos and videos of the installation of the Pantsir-S1 systems on an administrative building a few kilometers from the Kremlin appeared on social media. Another installation was spotted on the roof of the Ministry of Defense building.

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On Jan. 20, the Sirena Telegram channel published a video with three more Pantsir S-1 air defense complexes located two kilometers west of Ostafyevo Airport in Novomoskovsk, Moscow region. The Ostafyevo airfield provides transport aviation for the Russian Navy and also serves the flights of the Gazprom company.

According to Kyiv Post’s military expert Stefan Korshak, the Patsir- S1 air defense system is likely to be used against incoming drones and is not capable of downing missiles.

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He suggested that the installation of new air defense systems in central Moscow, not far from Putin's multiple residences, indicates that the Russian command is preparing to protect the capital after successful Ukrainian strikes on military targets in the depths of Russia, hundreds of kilometers from the front line. These strikes were allegedly carried out by drones, although it is unknown exactly which ones.

On Dec. 10, the project manager of Ukrainian state-owned military concern Ukroboronprom, Oleg Boldyrev, said that a new strike drone with a flight range of up to 1,000 kilometers is almost ready and is being tested in Ukraine. It is enough to strike Moscow from the territory of Ukraine.

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