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Russian missile drill apparently held on Etorofu Island

The Russian Army conducted an exercise in which it launched high-performance S-300V4 surface-to-air missiles in an area of the northern Pacific Ocean, according to the Russian news agency TASS. The area apparently included the northern territories of Japan.

The Eastern Military District of the Russian Army, which has jurisdiction over the Far East region, announced Thursday that it had conducted the exercise, which is believed to have taken place on Etorofu Island, one of Japan’s territorial islands. The island is said to be equipped with Russian missiles.

Moscow seems to be aiming to demonstrate its intention to counter Japan and the United States, which have imposed sanctions against Russia over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Russia had designated Japan and the United States as “unfriendly countries” on Monday.

The exercise was premised on the scenario of a virtual enemy aircraft having “invaded the territory.” It is said that the S-300V4 shot down all targets, of which there were dozens.

The Japanese government protested to Russia through diplomatic channels. There was reportedly no prior notice of the drill from the Russian side.