Introduction — May 27, 2016
Currently there are some 20,000 people, many of them Russian military personnel, living on the Kuril island chain in the eastern Pacific, northest of Japan. In addition to reinforcing its military presence Russia is also reported to actively exploring the possibility of establishing a naval base somewhere on the islands.
During the final weeks of WWII an 8,000 strong Japanese garrison on the islands surrendered to Russia, which then claimed sovereignty of the Kurils and established a small military outpost there.
With tensions now rising with the West, Moscow is thought to be looking to stave off encroachments into its eastern regions by bolstering its military foothold there. Ed.
Russia to reinforce military infrastructure in Far East: commander
Xinhuanet — May 27, 2016
Russia will reinforce the military infrastructure and rearmament of troops in the Far East region, the RIA Novosti news agency reported Friday.
“To exclude even the slightest threat, the Russian Defense Ministry takes the unprecedented measures for the development of military infrastructure in the Far East region,” Col. Gen. Sergey Surovikin, commander of the Eastern Military District, was quoted as saying during a military council meeting.
Russia also plans to reinforce all formations and military units and improve the social protection for soldiers and their families, he said.
Sakhalin and the Kuril Islands are the “Eastern outpost of Russia,” providing unconditional guarantee for the country’s security and territorial integrity, he added.
The Eastern Military District is one of Russia’s four military operational strategic commands. Established in 2010 and headquartered in the Khabarovsk region, the district covers the territories of the former Far East military district and part of the former Siberian military district.