The Ukraine Weapons Tracker Twitter account recently spotted a rare Ukrainian S-300V1 long-range air defense system driving toward the eastern Ukrainian city of Lysychansk. While it is not known how many of these SAMs the Ukrainians have in operational status, it is known that they do not have a lot of these units as these are their high-end surface-to-air missiles.

The photo was also reported by Abraxas Spa, crediting photojournalist Marcus Yam for taking the photograph sometime between June 12 and 13. Lysychansk is fairly close to where intense fighting had been reported in the city of Severodonetsk. The Russians currently hold 80% of the city as of writing, with the Ukrainians getting shelled daily while trying to defend their positions.

If the S-300V1 transporter erector and radar (TELAR) vehicle is spotted going to Lysychansk, it is highly possible to become within range of Russia’s long-range artillery. This not only makes the Ukrainian S-300V1 vulnerable to being destroyed, but it also means they are risking their more valuable air defense systems to the front. This indicates that they are, in fact, willing to put their top equipment on the line to defend against Russian air raids, cruise missiles, and perhaps maybe even ballistic missiles that the Russian forces are using to bomb the eastern front.

The problem the Ukrainians are trying to solve is that they have limited ability to protect themselves against Russian aircraft. MANPAD missiles like the Stinger are great at short range, but it would be much better to shoot down Russian aircraft before they hit their targets, not after.  The S-300V is able to engage short and intermediate-range ballistic missiles and electronic aircraft. The system uses two different missiles, a smaller 9M83 missile and the larger 9M82 missile.