Russia deploys missiles in the Kuril Islands

Kyodo News says Moscow is planning to deploy the Bastion coastal anti-ship missiles on Paramushir and Matua in the Kuril Islands northeast from Hokkaido, Japan.

The News Platform was shown an internal Russian government document. Missiles have been deployed on Etorofu and Kunashiri since 2016 and a separate document says more missiles are to be deployed in the area in 2020.

The installed missile systems were moved from Kamchatka Peninsula to Paramushir and Matua islands in the island chain. The chain includes four Japan-claimed islands.

The plan reportedly indicates Russia places strategic importance on the Kuril Islands in defending the Sea of Okhotsk and its nuclear force stronghold against the United States.

The Bastion is a land-to-ship missile that has a range of more than 300 kilometers.

The Kurils are a chain of small islands that run from the Japanese island of Hokkaido at the southern end and the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula at the northern end. They form an island border that separates the Sea of Okhotsk from the Pacific Ocean.