Burevestnik Airport
Burevestnik is a military air base on Iturup Island, Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

, establishing the nation's presence on the disputed Kuril Islands
Kuril Islands
The Kuril Islands , in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately northeast from Hokkaidō, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many more minor rocks. It consists of Greater...

 with the largest airfield in the region. It is also the former Soviet Union's most remote interceptor base, home of 387 IAP (387th Interceptor Aviation Regiment). During the 1970s it flew MiG-21bis and upgraded to MiG-23 jets in 1983 . Burevestnik's communications and logistics were tied to Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
-Demographics:Most residents are ethnic Russians, but there also exists a sizable population of Koreans. Of the 43,000 Sakhalin Koreans, half are estimated to live in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk, comprising roughly 12% of the city's population...

 and supplies were flown in weekly on An-12 aircraft.

Burevestnik's close proximity to Japan's highly populated Hokkaidō Island
, formerly known as Ezo, Yezo, Yeso, or Yesso, is Japan's second largest island; it is also the largest and northernmost of Japan's 47 prefectural-level subdivisions. The Tsugaru Strait separates Hokkaido from Honshu, although the two islands are connected by the underwater railway Seikan Tunnel...

, by only 190 km, and to major aviation corridors kept the base in a state of constant alert. In 1968, an American Douglas DC-8
Douglas DC-8
The Douglas DC-8 is a four-engined narrow-body passenger commercial jet airliner, manufactured from 1958 to 1972 by the Douglas Aircraft Company...

 was forced to land here after straying off course in the Seaboard World Airlines Flight 253
Seaboard World Airlines Flight 253
Seaboard World Airlines Flight 253A was a military charter flight carrying 214 American troops bound for Vietnam. On July 1, 1968, the plane was intercepted by Soviet jets after it unintentionally violated Soviet airspace. It was forced to land on one of the Soviet-controlled Kuril Islands with all...

 incident. In April 1983, Burevestnik's MiG-21s were alerted due to a close approach of American F-14 aircraft but did not take off due to bad weather.

, a Digital Globe high resolution satellite image accessible through Google Earth
Google Earth
Google Earth is a virtual globe, map and geographical information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D, and was created by Keyhole, Inc, a Central Intelligence Agency funded company acquired by Google in 2004 . It maps the Earth by the superimposition of images obtained from satellite...

showed no evidence of interceptor or other fixed-wing aircraft on the base, other than one non-swept wing transport aircraft occupying the otherwise empty aircraft parking areas. The images also show an old parallel runway about 1 km northeast of the main concrete runway, measuring approximately 1200 m long and 70 m wide.
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