A Ukrainian drone and missile attack has destroyed a sophisticated Russian air defense complex in Crimea, as Kyiv warned those living on the occupied peninsula to expect more “surprises.”

A source in the Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) told Kyiv Post that an S-400 “Triumf” air-defense system, which has an estimated value of $1.2 billion, was taken out in the early hours of Thursday morning near the city of Yevpatoria. 

The SBU source said: “The military counterintelligence of the SBU and the Navy of Ukraine conducted a unique special operation near Yevpatoria.”

He continued: “First, SBU drones hit the eyes of the complex — radars and antennas, and after disabling the radar stations, Navy units hit the S300/400 Triumf launch complexes with two Neptune cruise missiles.”

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The source promised that: “New surprises await Russians in Crimea.” 

Footage posted to social media showed a series of explosions in the area:

It’s not the first time Ukraine has destroyed an expensive Russian Triumf air defense system – last month a video released by Ukraine’s Directorate of Military Intelligence (HUR) showed a large explosion in Crimea which showed the destruction of a similar unit.

The size of the explosion strongly indicated that the installation itself, the missiles installed on it as well as the personnel manning it, were all destroyed.

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The S-400 is a fourth generation of long-range Russian surface-to-air missile capable of engaging aircraft, UAV, cruise missiles, and terminal ballistic missiles out to a range of 400 kilometers and an altitude of 60 kilometers.

This was a key component of Russia’s defense of the occupied peninsula.

It was reported in 2021 that only 25 of the systems were in-service with Russian forces, leading HUR to comment last month: “Given the limited number of such systems in service with the enemy, this is a ― painful blow to the air defense system of the invaders, which will have a serious impact on further events in the occupied Crimea.”

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The location of this latest strike is fairly close to the infamous incident in July 2022, when a Russian tourist posted a photo of himself posing in his “speedos” with an S-400 Transporter Erector Launcher (TEL) vehicle clearly visible in the background which geolocation quickly identified as near to Yevpatoria.

The unnamed Russian tourist and the S-400

Photo: X (formerly Twitter)

This led to a warning from the occupation authorities in Crimea for civilians not post images on social media that could identify the location of military facilities and equipment. It seems that a year later the weapons were in the same whereabouts.

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