[Ed. – This gives Russia the ability to shoot down aircraft well inside Japanese air space. The S-300V is also off-road-mobile and quickly redepoyable from revetted positions. Doing this so overtly would have been unlikely with a clear-cut Trump win in November. The move is timed to take advantage of a contentious interim in the U.S., as well as the change of leadership in Japan, but the key condition is the (putatively) incoming Biden administration, which would have an appeasing and impotent character.]
The Russian military on Tuesday announced the deployment of state-of-the-art air defense missiles to the Pacific islands claimed by Japan.
Russia’s Eastern Military District said in a statement that the S-300V4 air defense missile systems have entered combat duty on the Kuril Islands, adding punch to the shorter range Tor M2 missile systems deployed there earlier.
The Russian Defense Ministry’s TV station, Zvezda, reported that the air defense missile systems were deployed on Iturup, one of the four southernmost Kuril islands.
The new deployment marked the latest move in a continuous Russian military buildup on the islands, which has included stationing advanced fighter jets and anti-ship missiles there.