Russia’s Pacific Fleet was warned Friday to get ready for snap drills centered on practice missile launches in a display of sea power to the West as the fighting in Ukraine goes on.
Nuclear-capable strategic bombers and other warplanes were included in the order from Moscow.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the goal of the war games was to test the capability of Russia’s armed forces to mount a response to aggression, AP reports.
The Russian military has concentrated the bulk of its forces on the front lines in Ukraine, but also continued conducting regular drills across Russia to train its forces and demonstrate their readiness for dispersal across multiple fronts.
The scenario for Friday’s maneuvers envisages a response to an adversary’s attempt to make a landing on Sakhalin Island and the southern Kuril Islands, AP sets out.
Japan asserts territorial rights to the Kuril Islands. The Soviet Union took them in the final days of World War II, and the dispute has kept the countries from signing a peace treaty formally ending their hostilities.
The island chain stretches between Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula and Hokkaido, Japan’s largest island. Moscow refers to the archipelago as the Kuril Islands, while Tokyo has dubbed the islets its Northern Territories.
Last year, Russia announced it had suspended peace talks with Japan to protest Tokyo’s sanctions against Moscow over its action in Ukraine.
At the same time Japan’s Defense Ministry accused Russia’s military of ordering a helicopter to fly through Japanese airspace off the nation’s northernmost island of Hokkaido, as Breitbart News reported.
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