Japan Spots Russian Troop Carriers Heading West

Japan’s military spotted four Russian warships heading west, possibly toward Europe.

Japanese Self Defense Force maritime patrol first spotted two Russian vessels on Tuesday, about 70 kilometers east-northeast of Shiriyazaki, Aomori Prefecture. The maritime patrol detected the other two, Wednesday, about 220 km east-northeast of Shiriyazaki.

A Japanese defense ministry spokesman said that although the direction of the Russian warships was unknown, it is possible that these were bound for Ukraine.

The spotted Russian vessels can carry dozens of tanks, military vehicles, and hundreds of troops.

On March 11, Japan’s Ministry of Defense reported that ten Russian navy ships passed through the Tsugaru Strait between Honshu and Hokkaido. On March 15, six Russian navy vessels were spotted passing through the Soya Strait between Hokkaido and Sakhalin.

“The Russian army has been conducting peculiar large-scale maritime exercises in the Sea of Okhotsk since last month in response to the movement to invade Ukraine. It is probable that the six confirmed vessels were participating in this maritime exercise,” said Chief Cabinet Secretary Hirokazu Matsuno.

The presence of Russian warship on Japan’s waters is raising concerns about the increased activity of Russian troops in Japan, said Matsuno.

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