Russian, Chinese militaries put their power on display in dramatic drills

Alexei Nikolsky  Sputnik

Alexei Nikolsky Sputnik

Vostok-2018, involving almost 300,000 servicemen, 36,000 vehicles and over a thousand aircraft, is Russia's largest military exercise since the Zapad drills in 1981.

The exercise called Vostok-2018 (East-2018), will run until September 17. and involves deploying additional forces to Russia's far east and a naval build-up involving its Northern and Pacific fleets.

"Over 6,000 troops from three military formations and three separate units of the Airborne will participate in the Vostok-2018 drills". "It has an unprecedented scale, both in terms of spatial scope and number of involved military command, troops and forces".

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"You demonstrated the military prowess, showed your capability to successfully counter potential military threats", Putin told troops at the firing range. "We do not and can not have any aggressive plans".

President Vladimir Putin on Thursday visited Russia's largest-ever military drills in eastern Siberia, where he said Moscow planned to strengthen the country's armed forces.

The drills come at a time of increased tension between Russian Federation and the west, after the former Soviet power's interventions in the Ukraine and Syria.

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Putin said Russian Federation is a "peaceful nation" that "does not have any aggressive plans".

Military commentators believe Russian Federation is seeking to project power, ward off perceived western aggression and prepare for the prospect of a global armed conflict by holding Vostok-2018. 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".

According to the Ministry of defence, troops of the Central and Eastern military districts and soldiers of the people's liberation army of China and the Mongol army developed to repel the attack of the imaginary enemy with the subsequent transition to the offensive.

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More than 300,000 soldiers from Russian Federation and China are taking part in the land, air and sea exercises this week, in a show of strength and friendship between Moscow and Beijing.

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