"I confirm that a new and more powerful Voronezh-DM radar in Armavir has been put on combat duty tracking missile routes in the south and southeast [of Russia] in place of warning sites in Mukachevo [western Ukraine] and Sevastopol [the Crimea]," Anatoly Tsyganok said.
Russia terminated a 1997 agreement with Ukraine on the use of both radars in Sevastopol and Mukachevo in February 2008 on the grounds that they had become operationally obsolete.
With an effective range of 4,000 kilometers (2,500 miles) the Voronezh-type radar has capabilities similar to its predecessors, the Dnepr and Daryal, which are currently deployed outside Russia, but uses less energy and is more environmentally friendly.
Washington wants to place 10 missile interceptors in Poland and a radar station in the neighboring Czech Republic, purportedly to counter a missile threat from Iran and other "rogue" states. Russia has fiercely opposed the plans, saying the European shield would destroy the strategic balance of forces and threaten Russia's national interests.