The Russian merchant ship SPARTA II returned from the Syrian port of Tartus with S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems (SAM) on board. This was noticed by the NORS Telegram channel, which analyzed satellite images and data on the movement of the vessel with MarineTraffic.
Satellite images show that the SAM was loaded on board the SPARTA II from the Khmeimim base on August 17. On August 20, the ship headed towards Novorossiysk and transmitted the appropriate signal. Images from Masyaf on August 25 show that the air defense system is indeed not at the base. On August 26, SPARTA II was already on the raid in Novorossiysk.
Russia removed the C-300 after several military installations in Crimea were hit. Earlier, Business Insider wrote that Russia began to withdraw aircraft from the peninsula and strengthen air defense.
SPARTA II belongs to Oboronlogistics, controlled by the Russian Ministry of Defense and subject to US sanctions. At the end of July, Russia also removed weapons and military equipment from Syria on it. Thus, she bypassed the ban on the movement of warships through the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, introduced by Turkey since the beginning of the war in Ukraine. There were at least 11 pieces of military equipment on the ship.