Russia’s Pacific Fleet on High Alert for Defensive Drill Amid Territorial Dispute with Japan and Tensions in Asia-Pacific Region
On Friday, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia has placed its Pacific naval fleet on heightened alert as part of an unanticipated assessment designed to enhance its defensive capabilities. The drill is aimed at preventing mock enemy forces from landing on Russia’s Sakhalin island and on its southern Kuril Islands. Some of these islands are claimed by Japan in a territorial dispute dating back to the end of World War II. With the United States and South Korea conducting joint air exercises after North Korea's intercontinental ballistic missile test, the drills are taking place amidst escalated tension in the Asia-Pacific region.
Shoigu announced that the Pacific Fleet has been placed on high alert and is fully prepared. This is being done ostensibly in order to assess the state and increase the readiness of military administration bodies, troops, and forces to carry out their assignment tasks. According to him, the drill is designed to prevent simulated hostile forces from invading Sakhalin and the southern Kuril Islands, which consist of three of the four disputed islands claimed by Japan. The main goal of this exercise is to build up the armed forces ability to solve the tasks of repelling the aggression of a potential enemy from the direction of ocean and sea.
The Pacific Fleet will have to repel massive missile and air strikes, conduct exercises to search for and destroy submarines, perform torpedo, artillery, and missile launches in the course of destroying naval strike groups and ground facilities of a mock enemy. The drills will also simulate an enemy landing on Russia's Sakhalin island and on its southern Kuril Islands, some of which are claimed by Japan in a territorial dispute dating back to the end of World War Two.
The superpower announced war games to test the military’s ability to respond to foreign aggression. Russia’s Pacific Fleet is on high alert during snap exercises begun on President Vladimir Putin’s orders. The drill is aimed at increasing the ability of the Russian Armed Forces to repel a sea attack by an aggressor. The main objective of this inspection is to increase the ability of the Armed Forces to repel the aggression of a probable enemy from the direction of the ocean and sea.
During the event, the Pacific Fleet will have to repel massive missile and air strikes, conduct exercises to search and destroy submarines, perform torpedo launches, artillery firing, and missile launches while engaging surface action groups and land targets of a simulated enemy. The forces would prevent the enemy from deploying in “the operationally important region of the Pacific Ocean — the southern part of the Sea of Okhotsk” and repulse an enemy landing in the southern Kuril Islands and Sakhalin Island.
The drills highlight the ongoing territorial dispute between Russia and Japan over the southern Kuril Islands, which Japan calls the Northern Territories. The islands have been controlled by Russia since the end of World War II, but Japan maintains that they were illegally occupied by Soviet forces. The dispute has prevented the two countries from signing a peace treaty to formally end the war.
The drills also come amid rising tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, as North Korea continues to test its ballistic missile program. The United States and South Korea have conducted joint air exercises in response to these tests. Russia has been critical of the exercises, calling them a provocation.
In conclusion, the drills being conducted by Russia's Pacific Fleet are aimed at building its defensive capabilities in a potential event of an attack by a waterborne enemy. The exercises simulate an enemy landing on Russia's Sakhalin island and on its southern Kuril Islands, which are claimed by Japan in a territorial dispute. The drills also come amid heightened tensions in the Asia-Pacific region, as North Korea continues to test its ballistic missile program and the United States and South Korea conduct joint air exercises.
0. “Russian navy begins drill in areas incuding Japan's Northern Territories | NHK WORLD-JAPAN News” NHK WORLD, 14 Apr. 2023, https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/20230414_40
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