Russia launches surprise naval maneuvers in the Pacific
According to Defense Minister Shoigu, Russia wants to use the maneuver to prepare for a possible attack. Two islands are in focus. This should also cause a stir in Japan.
Vladivostok. Against the background of massive tensions with the West, Russia has put its entire Pacific Fleet on alert and ready for action in an unannounced inspection.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday that a military exercise would be used to defend against an attempted enemy landing on the southern Kuril Islands and the island of Sakhalin. According to Chief of Staff Valeri Gerasimov, the maneuver will be carried out in three stages – from mobilizing the troops and leaving the ships to simulated combat operations.
The flagship of the Russian Pacific Fleet is the missile cruiser Varyag. In addition, 3 frigates and around 60 smaller war and landing ships as well as around 20 submarines, including nuclear submarines, are in service. Parts of the air and missile forces as well as supply units are also to take part in the exercise.
According to Schoigus, the units must be better prepared for a possible attack. The foreign military attachés were informed about the aim of the exercise. The sudden maneuver is explosive not only because of Moscow’s already tense relations with the West as a result of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, but also because of the named enemy targets, including the southern Kuril Islands. There has been a dispute between Russia and its neighbor Japan over the four southernmost islands of the Kuril Islands since the end of World War II. To date, this conflict has prevented the signing of a peace treaty by both nations.
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