Update: A spokesman for Russia's Black Sea Fleet was cited as saying Thursday that the new S-400 system had been deployed in Dzhankoi in northern Crimea.
Russia’s Defense Ministry has said it will deploy new S-400 surface-to-air missile systems on the Crimean peninsula as tensions flared in the region this week following Moscow's claims that three Ukrainian vessels had violated its territorial waters.
Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and has bolstered the Black Sea peninsula’s military defenses with three S-400 systems since 2017. The S-400 is capable of targeting up to 36 aircraft at a range of 400 kilometers and has anti-ballistic missile capabilities.
Russia’s Southern Military District spokesman Vadim Astafyev told Interfax on Wednesday that a fourth S-400 battalion would soon be deployed in Crimea.
The state-run RIA news agency said the new S-400 systems would be operational by the end of the year.
News of the deployment comes after Ukraine introduced martial law for 30 days in parts of the country following Russia's seizure of three Ukrainian navy vessels off the coast of Crimea on Sunday.
Reuters contributed reporting.