Russian Federation holds biggest military drills since Soviet era

Russia stages world’s largest military drills, NATO worried

Russian Federation showcased its most sophisticated air defence system on Wednesday, using it to repel a mock attack from the sky as part of what it describes as its largest-ever military drills.

The previous Russian exercise involving a similar scale was in 1981 during the Cold War, but there are more troops in Vostok 2018.

The location of the main training range for Vostok-2018 - about 3,000 miles east of Moscow - means it is likely to also be watched closely by Japan, North and South Korea as well as by Mongolia, which will send some of its own troops to take part.

Russian Federation has begun massive military exercises across its central and eastern regions, starting weeklong war games the Defense Ministry says will involve some 300,000 personnel - twice as many as the biggest Soviet maneuvers of the Cold War era.

Russian Federation began its war games - the largest show of military force since the height of the Cold War almost four decades ago - Tuesday, amid heightened tensions with the United States.

But Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said these exercises are even larger, with 300,000 soldiers, 36,000 military vehicles, 1,000 planes and 80 warships taking part in the drills.

Vostock includes many smaller scale exercises that happen every year and obsolete equipment has also been put into use, apparently to inflate the war games size, Jack Watling, an expert at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), wrote in an article this month.

Tuesday's meeting between the two leaders comes amid continued US-led sanctions against Russian Federation and an escalating US-China trade war.

The start of the exercises coincided with a bilateral meeting between President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping at a forum in Valdivostok, where they vowed to fight attacks on their economies.

Tanks roll during the military exercises in Chita, Eastern Siberia, during the Vostok 2018 exercises, September 11, 2018.

He added he believed the "friendship is getting stronger all the time" between the two countries. A Mongolian unit will also be involved, ...

"We're aware of Russia's right to sovereignty and to exercise in order to ensure their readiness", he said.

At the event on Tuesday, Xi said that China and Russian Federation would work together to maintain stability and peace in the world. Russian Federation also staged a major naval exercise in the eastern Mediterranean this month and its jets resumed bombing the Syrian region of Idlib, the last major enclave of rebels fighting its ally President Bashar al-Assad.

Russian Federation began, near the border with China, the largest military maneuvers in its history, "Vostok 2018", which take place amid great tensions with the West and on the eve of a more than likely escalation of the conflict in Syria.

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