Air defences are set up near Putin’s palace in latest sign leader fears direct strike from Ukraine

Air defences are set up near Putin’s forest palace days after missiles were deployed near his official residence in latest sign the Russian leader fears a direct strike from Ukraine

  • Pantsir-S1 defence system deployed near Putin’s Valdai presidential palace in Yascherovo, a village midway between Moscow and St Petersburg 
  • Similar systems have been deployed to his official residence in Novo-Ogarevo
  • Russia has also deployed the Pantsir-S1 and S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence systems across in Moscow amid evident fears of a full-scale attack on capital city

Major air defences have been set up close to Vladimir Putin‘s forest palace just days after missiles were deployed near his official residence near Moscow in the latest sign that the Russian leader fears a direct strike on Russia from Ukraine.

A Pantsir-S1 defence system has been deployed near Putin’s Valdai presidential palace in Yascherovo, a village midway between Moscow and St Petersburg.

Similar systems have been deployed to Putin’s official residence in Novo-Ogarevo in the past week, evidently to protect him from Ukrainian drones or missiles.

Russia has also deployed the Pantsir-S1 and S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence systems across Moscow amid evident fears of a full-scale attack on the capital city from Ukraine.

A Pantsir-S1 defence system has been deployed near Putin's Valdai presidential palace in Yascherovo, a village midway between Moscow and St Petersburg

Similar systems have been deployed to Putin's official residence in Novo-Ogarevo in the past week

A Pantsir-S1 defence system has been deployed near Putin’s Valdai presidential palace (left) in Yascherovo, a village midway between Moscow and St Petersburg. Similar systems have been deployed to Putin’s official residence in Novo-Ogarevo in the past week (right), evidently to protect him from Ukrainian drones or missiles

In the latest deployment, Russia has set up a Pantsir-S1 defence system close to Putin's Valdai presidential palace (pictured) 'protect him and his family' from long range Ukrainian attacks

In the latest deployment, Russia has set up a Pantsir-S1 defence system close to Putin’s Valdai presidential palace (pictured) ‘protect him and his family’ from long range Ukrainian attacks

Their deployment to Moscow and Putin’s palace and official residence comes after two suspected Ukrainian drone strikes hit two air bases deep inside Russia in December, damaging two nuclear-capable bombers that were thought to be preparing for an attack on Ukraine.

In the latest deployment, Russia has set up a Pantsir-S1 defence system close to Putin’s Valdai presidential palace to ‘protect him and his family’ from long range Ukrainian attacks, reports the Russian media outlet Agentstvo Novosti. 

Putin’s rumoured lover Alina Kabaeva, 39, is known to favour the lavish bolthole at Valdai in Novgorod region. He and Kabaeva are believed to have a young family that are kept secret from Russian people, and have never been seen. 

Three servicemen are constantly nearby the defence system, and the radar antenna rotates, said the report.

Similar systems have been deployed in the past week close to Putin’s official residence on the outskirts of Moscow, and at prime locations in the centre of the capital.

‘These air defence systems protect President Vladimir Putin and his family from a possible Ukrainian strike,’ said the report.

‘This conclusion can be drawn after the air defence system appeared near the Valdai presidential residence.

‘There are simply no other sites for protection there, except for the residence.’

The Pantsir system is designed to protect government and industrial facilities against aircraft, helicopters, precision munitions, cruise missiles and military drones. 

Last week a new deployment of a Pantsir-S1 complex was revealed six miles from Putin’s official residence near Moscow, evidently to protect him from Ukrainian drones or missiles.

Another Pantsir-S1 defence system appeared on the roof of the Russian defence ministry’s National Defence Management Centre (NTsUO) on Frunzenskaya Embankment, the command centre of Putin‘s invasion of Ukraine.

A Pantsir missile system is pictured getting installed on top of a building in Moscow, Russia

A Pantsir missile system is pictured getting installed on top of a building in Moscow, Russia

A Pantsir missile system is pictured getting installed on top of a building in Moscow, Russia. The installations suggest Kremlin officials fear the capital could be attacked

Pictured: A Pantsir missile system (circled) is pictured on top of Russian Ministry of Defence's National Defence Management Centre - the command centre of Vladimir Putin's on-going invasion of Ukraine - on Frunzenskaya Embankment in Moscow, Russia's capital

Pictured: A Pantsir missile system (circled) is pictured on top of Russian Ministry of Defence’s National Defence Management Centre – the command centre of Vladimir Putin’s on-going invasion of Ukraine – on Frunzenskaya Embankment in Moscow, Russia’s capital

A video showed the same powerful system being lifted onto a rooftop in Teterinsky Lane, Taganka district, one-and-a-half miles from the Kremlin.

Pro-Russian Telegram channel Military Informant acknowledged this was an admission that Moscow, with a 12 million population, is now vulnerable, with the deployment underscoring that the ‘the military are afraid of a possible strike’. 

On Wednesday, photographs appeared of the modern S-400 missile defence system in two locations, one in fields belonging to the Timiryazev Agricultural Academy in the northwest of the city, another Losiny island in a national park to the northeast where trees were felled for the installation.

The S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground objectives.

On Wednesday, photographs appeared of the modern S-400 missile defence system in two locations

On Wednesday, photographs appeared of the modern S-400 missile defence system in two locations 

The S-400 'Triumf' air defence system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground objectives

The S-400 ‘Triumf’ air defence system is designed to destroy aircraft, cruise and ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. It can also be used against ground objectives

Putin has deployed Russia's fearsome S-400 defence missiles to the capital amid fears Ukraine could launch attacks on the city

Putin has deployed Russia’s fearsome S-400 defence missiles to the capital amid fears Ukraine could launch attacks on the city

It is unknown if Putin’s Valdai palace boasts underground bunkers.

But it has a three-storey spa complex with a ‘personal beauty parlour’ nicknamed the ‘temple to his asceticism’.

Two floors are hidden underground replete with a cryo chamber for extreme cold therapy, and a mud bath, in a 7,000 square metre (75,350 square ft) relaxation facility.

Available in the gargantuan spa are Lympha press procedures massage baths, while there is a 25-metre pool surrounded by contrasting hot tubs as well as saunas and a Turkish bath, and Thai massage podium.

The sprawling lakeside estate seen on drone footage includes a stable, golf course, mini-golf course, VIP restaurant with a cinema, bowling, billiard room and even a mini-casino. 

The complex is dubbed Putin’s ‘most secret official dacha’.

The home is close to important Orthodox churches which Putin is known to have visited at times of crisis during his 23 years as president or prime minister.

Putin also boasts a separate clifftop £1 billion palace on the Black Sea which boasts a vineyard and a ‘striptease’ room with a stage and performer’s pole.

There are rumours that Putin and his young family with former Olympic gymnast Kabaeva are now usually based in one of several secret bunker complexes.

It is unknown if Putin's Valdai palace (pictured) boasts underground bunkers. But it has a three-storey spa complex with a 'personal beauty parlour' nicknamed the 'temple to his asceticism'

It is unknown if Putin’s Valdai palace (pictured) boasts underground bunkers. But it has a three-storey spa complex with a ‘personal beauty parlour’ nicknamed the ‘temple to his asceticism’

The children have not been introduced to the Russian people, and secretive Putin has never confirmed his relationship with Kabaeva.

Ukraine is believed to be seeking to extend its reach with missiles and drones in Russia. One report said the Sokol-300 Punisher drone could hit targets deep inside Russia with a range of up to 2,050 miles.

It has a load of 300kg and can carry guided missiles.

So far Kyiv has struck regions bordering its territory but has made only limited aerial attacks in Russia, though various explosions and fires at energy installations and shopping malls may mean Ukraine has a sabotage capacity.

Two suspected Ukrainian drone strikes hit two air bases in Saratov and Ryazan in December. 

The Engels-2 airbase, near the city of Saratov, was hit by an explosion in December in a strike that left two Tu-95 bombers – which have been used to carry out airstrikes on Ukraine’s infrastructure – damaged.

The base is some 450 miles from the nearest point in Ukraine. 

Another explosion hit Russia’s Dyagilevo military base near the city of Ryazan, about 470 miles from the Ukrainian border, killing three people after a fuel truck detonated.

Despite multiple strikes by Russia on Ukraine’s capital of Kyiv, Moscow has not yet been hit.

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