Russia has installed air-defense systems in several locations in and around Moscow after multiple Ukrainian drone strikes in Russian territory, Fox News has learned, but some officials are not concerned and remain focused on helping Ukraine defend itself.
One air-defense system, according to social media posts Friday, was installed on top of the Russian Defense Military headquarters in Moscow.
“We’re aware of the recent reports, but we’re not going to speculate on hypothetical situations,” a Pentagon spokesman, Marine Corps Lt. Col. Garron J. Garn, told Fox News Digital Monday.
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“Our focus remains on supporting Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further Russian aggression,” Garn added.
Some western officials told Fox News they are not concerned that Ukraine would deploy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) strikes that deeply into Russia that Moscow would be affected.
However, some U.S. analysts believe the Kremlin has seen Ukraine’s long-range UAV capabilities in recent strikes, and has installed the systems in response.
Fox News has also learned that those analysts believe the installation comes as a signal that Russia acknowledges the porous nature of its current air-defense systems.
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But former U.S. intelligence official Rebekah Koffler told Fox News Digital she believes that Putin is preparing for “massive escalation.”
“These are preparations for a large-scale war that could entangle the United States,” Koffler said. “That’s what Putin is preparing for.”
Koffler, a former DIA intelligence officer and the author of “Putin’s Playbook: Russia’s Secret Plan to Defeat America,” told Fox News Digital that the air-defense systems are “strategically located in places where Putin and the Russian elites live.”
“There is another broader missile defense that covers the entire Moscow, but there are gaps,” Koffler explained, noting that while this action is a preparation for an internal conflict, it could “spin out of control.”
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“This is a firm path to escalation,” Koffler said.
Russian officials have not commented on the installations.
Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
The U.S. has advised Kyiv to hold off on any major counter-offensives against Russian forces in Ukraine until Washington’s latest supply of weaponry and trainings have been provided, a senior White House official said, according to Reuters Saturday.
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Kyiv has not officially announced that it is planning another major counter-offensive just months after it successfully ousted Russian troops from Kharkiv in the north and from the city of Kherson in the south, though it has repeatedly warned it believes Moscow is taking steps to ramp up its war effort.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.