Russian Federation begins its largest ever military exercise with 300,000 soldiers

Lester Mason
September 13, 2018

- Up to 80 naval vessels and support ships from two Russian fleets will take part in the war drill, reports said.

The week-long exercise dubbed "Vostok-2018" also includes the Mongolian army.

The People's Liberation Army, China's military, was "still in the process of acquiring combined arms training and expertise as it transformed into an informationised and modern fighting force", he said.

"It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time - a more assertive Russian Federation, significantly increasing its defence budget and its military presence", said the alliance´s spokesman Dylan White.

"It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time - a more assertive Russian Federation, significantly increasing its defense budget and its military presence", White said.

Russian Federation on Tuesday will launch the biggest military drills in its history involving 300,000 troops as well as Chinese soldiers, in a move North Atlantic Treaty Organisation denounced as "exercising large-scale conflict".

"With its Vostok-2018 exercise, Russia sends a message that it regards the U.S. as a potential enemy and China as a potential ally", wrote Dmitri Trenin, a former Russian army colonel and director of the Carnegie Moscow Center think tank.


Up to 3,500 Chinese military personnel will take part in the "main scenario" of the drills at the Tsugol proving ground, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on September 4.

Last month, the Kremlin´s spokesman said Russia´s "ability to defend itself in the current worldwide situation which is often aggressive and unfriendly to our country is justified, essential and without alternative".

"These are very important drills but they are part of routine annual work to develop the armed forces", he told reporters Tuesday.

Hundreds of Chinese armoured combat vehicles, attack helicopters, fighter jets and thousands of soldiers take part in the biggest military exercise in Russian Federation since 1981, in a show of strength and friendship between Asia's two largest military powers.

The last war games in Vostok were in 2014 but were nearly half of the size with 155,000 soldiers taking part.

Russian Federation has faced ever harsher sanctions since angering the West and Kiev by annexing Crimea in 2014 and backing separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. That alone would be enough to make headlines, but another twist has cinched it: China is taking part in the war games as well-the first time Russian Federation has invited any country beyond its former Soviet satellites, notes the Wall Street Journal.

Part of Russia's response has been to increase the number of large-scale military exercises across the globe in an apparent bid to project power and ward off perceived Western aggression.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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