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Russia says begins military exercises in Pacific islands also claimed by Japan

Published on Aug 12, 2014 5:31 PM

MOSCOW (REUTERS) - Russia began military exercises on Tuesday in a chain of islands it claims in the Pacific Ocean, a Defence Ministry spokesman told Interfax, in a move likely to anger Japan, which also lays claim to them.

"Exercises began involving military units in the region, which are deploying to the Kuril Islands," Colonel Alexander Gordeyev, a spokesman for Russia's Eastern Military District, was quoted by the agency as saying.

He said more than 1,000 troops, five attack helicopter and 100 other pieces of military hardware would be involved in the manoeuvres.