They are deployed: Putin "aimed" cruise missiles at Japan

Russian Ministry of Defense has announced that it has deployed mobile missile defense systems in the northern Kuril Islands.

EPA-EFE/Alexei nikolsky poll
EPA-EFE/Alexei nikolsky poll

Japan claims the southern Kuril Islands held by Russia, which Tokyo calls the Northern Territories. It is a territorial dispute that dates back to the end of the Second World War, when Soviet troops occupied and suppressed Japan.

The Russian Bastion missile system, which has missiles with a range of up to 500 km, has been deployed on the island of Paramushir in the northern part of the Kuril Islands, the Russian Ministry of Defense announced.

"The Coastal Services of the Pacific Fleet will maintain a 24-hour watch to control the adjacent sea area and strait zones," the statement said.

The Ministry announced that a military camp was established in Paramushir with conditions that allow year-round service, accommodation, recreation and food for personnel.

The deployment comes a year after Russia deployed Bastion systems on Matua Island, in the central part of the Kuril Ridge, the ministry said in a statement.

"The islands will play a key role in Russian-Japanese relations"


The Washington Center for Strategic and International Studies wrote in a September report that Moscow's militarization of the Kuril Islands, in the shadow of its invasion of Ukraine, "has largely flown under the radar."

"Russia's moves to increase its presence suggest that the islands will continue to play a detrimental role in the future of Russian-Japanese relations and that Japan and the United States should deepen consultations regarding Russian activities in the region," the report said.

Japan has joined Western allies in imposing economic sanctions on Russia after it sent tens of thousands of troops to Ukraine in what Moscow calls a "special military operation". Ukraine and its allies say Russia launched an unprovoked war.

Russia pulled out of peace talks with Japan and froze joint economic projects related to the disputed Kuril Islands because of Japanese sanctions imposed in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.


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