World War 3 fears have increased after Russia announced plans to construct three military bases just 300 miles away from the USA.
These will be located in the Arctic, while Russia has also announced their plans to build military outposts in the Pacific, too, some of which will be just 20 miles away from Japan on the Kuril islands.
This means Russia will have a military presence, be it via troops, warplanes or vehicles, in each of the four corners of Asia. This is in direct conflict with the United States and Japan’s respective military presences in these areas.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu confirmed his nation’s plans, insisting that they want to “completely finish the creation and arming of the entire Arctic grouping” by the end of 2018.
According to the Express, Shoygu continued, “We’re not hiding this from anyone, we have practically finished creating the base in the Novosibirsk Archipelago, on the island of Kotelny. This is a really large base that was never seen during the Soviet times, and it has modern equipment, all of the needed equipment for these boundaries.”
Vladimir Putin had previously promised that he wouldn’t deploy troops or try to militarize the Arctic. It was believed that there would be very little reason to, with the fact that the nearest town to where they plan to build their presence, Cape Schmidt, only has a population of just a few hundred people.
However, Russia has now reneged on that deal. They will now have a military base just 320 miles away from Point Hope in Alaska, U.S.
Other regions in the Arctic that Russia have decided to build new military bases on include Wrangel Island, which is a Unesco World Heritage site and is even the home to a nature reserve, and Kotelny Island, as well as at Cape Schmidt.
Russia has reportedly been conducting a variety of military drills in the Arctic over the last few months, while they also increased their presence across eastern Europe and into central Asia with more troops being deployed in Georgia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Vietnam.
Russia’s decision to militarize the northern islands of Kuril are also only going to dampen relationships between themselves and Japan. Moscow and Tokyo already have a variety of issues, while Japan have claimed the southern Kurils as their own.
However, this is still in dispute, because Russia actually seized the islands from Japan as the second World War came to a close. No agreement over who actually owns these islands has ever actually been agreed, in fact both nations never even signed a formal peace treaty after the War came to an end.
This comes at a time when Russian and U.S. troops are both part of different allies that are trying to bring peace to Syria. Russia’s recent bombing campaign in Syria against ISIS and anti-Assad rebels has seen Putin’s popularity increase by 90 percent.
However, there is increasing fears that the amount of military conflicts being raged in such a tight knit space with so many countries involved could result in an incident that might conclude with World War 3.
Recently, Turkey insisted that they were ready to shoot down any aircraft that ventured into their airspace, a promise that they kept when they shot down a drone that was just two miles over their border last week.
The Express reported that Russia and Vladimir Putin’s decision to increase their military presence in the Arctic was because they hoped to have “the edge in any conflict with the U.S.”
[Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]