Satellite images reveal that both mobile firing platforms and missiles disappeared during the summer from a base in the Zelenogorsk area on the Karelian Isthmus, northwest of St Petersburg, among others, Yle Finnish media outlet reports.
As noted, St Petersburg—Russia's second-most important city—has long been surrounded by a protective ring of 14 anti-aircraft missile bases. Now several of them stand empty.
Yle has acquired most of the satellite images from commercial operators, complementing them with images from the Google Earth Pro app. The latest images are from August and September.
The most obvious change can be seen to the southwest of St Petersburg. There, two entire batteries have been emptied. Pictures obtained by Yle show that about 25 missile containers, possibly containing 100 missiles, have been removed from one of the two remaining batteries.
Moreover, not only the missile containers, but also a row of vehicles that have been standing in the open for years, have disappeared.
There has also been a significant transfer of equipment from a base southeast of St Petersburg—about 10 firing platforms as well as other vehicles.
Most of the remaining anti-aircraft missiles in the St Petersburg region are from the S-400 missile system.
The experts say that the equipment that has been removed is primarily from the old S-300 system.
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