Russia has moved nuclear-capable Iskander-M missiles into the Kaliningrad enclave bordering Poland and Lithuania, the Russian Defence Ministry said on Saturday, adding it was part of routine drills.
"These missile units have been deployed more than once (in the Kaliningrad region) ... and will be deployed as part of military training of the Russian armed forces," ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said in a statement.
The Russian Iskander-M missiles, which have a range of over 500km, are reportedly being transported by ship from the St Petersburg area. It had previously been reported that the Russians might seek to place the Iskander-M missiles in Kaliningrad but not until 2018-19.
The move is another sign that Russia is seeking to establish facts on the ground, from eastern Europe to the Middle East, before a new US president takes office in January.
The Iskander-M missiles is a highly sophisticated nuclear missile system and there is no comparable weapon in NATO's western armory.
It can carry nuclear weapons, change direction mid-flight and fly distances of up to 500km. As such it is capable of threatening Poland ,including the US/NATO missile defense installations which is being built there, the Baltic states and even Germany.
There is no doubt that this is a obvious and intentional Russian provocation against NATO and its neighbors, as this missiles vastly upgrades Russia's nuclear capabilities inside Europe. The intention is to obviously to make a strong show of Russian might and nuclear force.
One can only imagine the Russian and its supporters on social media's reactions, outcry and hysteria if the US or the west did the same, and shipped its upgraded nuclear missile system to countries which border Russia, like Ukraine or Georgia.