By Takehito Kudo
MOSCOW—Leading Russian newspaper Izvestia reported on Oct. 28 that the Russian military will deploy the latest model of its T-72B3 main battle tanks (MBTs) to the Kuril Islands ( which include the Northern Territories). The Russian military has stationed Machine Gun Artillery Divisions on Etorofu and Kunashiri Islands and is modernizing its equipment. It is very likely that they will deploy MBTs to the Northern Territories.
According to Russian defense ministry sources, it will take one or two years for the deployment to be completed. The sources did not specify where the tanks will be deployed. Speaking of the deployment plan for the T-72B3 tanks, a Russian military affairs specialist said, “This will increase Russia’s defense capability against enemies’ landing operations.” T-72B3 tanks are said to be capable of sinking small vessels.