Mikhail Barabanov, a senior research fellow at the Moscow-based Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST), which advises the Russian Defence Ministry, said it now looked like the Kremlin would deploy them there permanently by 2019.

By all accounts, the deployment of the Iskanders in Kaliningrad Region is now inevitable. The missile brigade currently stationed there was using older shorter-range Tochka-U missiles slated for replacement.

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The Iskander, a mobile ballistic missile system codenamed SS-26 Stone by NATO, replaced the Soviet Scud missile. It’s two guided missiles have a range of up to 500 kilometers (about 300 miles) and can carry either conventional or nuclear warheads.