“In recent weeks, Russia has recalibrated the posture of its short and medium-range air defenses around Moscow in an effort to more effectively defend against the uncrewed aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks the city now experiences most days,” the British ministry of defense said in its war intelligence update.
It added: “Since early September 2023, Russian SA-22 air defense systems around the capital have been pictured positioned on elevated towers and ramps. Previously, following strikes against Engels and Ryazan air bases in December 2022, Russia also positioned SA-22 on the roofs of official buildings in Moscow.”
The British intelligence report highlighted: “This is almost certainly to allow the system to detect and engage UAV-type targets. However, it is probably also intended to act as a high-profile reassurance to the public that the authorities have the threat under control.”
This comes as drone warfare intensifies between Moscow and Kyiv, with both sides using UAVs to strike the heartland of the other side, usually targeting vital infrastructure.
In August, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that a clear and present danger of potential drone attacks on Moscow exists, and appropriate security measures are being taken. Meanwhile, Ukrainian forces increased the intensity of UAV attacks targeting the Russian capital.