Russian Federation kicks off biggest war games in decades, amid tensions

Russian Federation kicks off biggest war games in decades, amid tensions

The country's war games in Eastern Europe past year, Zapad-2017, saw 12,700 troops take part according to Moscow.

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.

Chinese military vehicles through a field in Chita, Eastern Siberia, during the Vostok 2018 exercises, September 11, 2018.

The huge week-long exercise, called Vostok 2018, is being held in eastern Siberia, and also includes the Chinese army.

While both Russian Federation and China have said the manoeuvres are not directed against other countries they do coincide with Nato's Rapid Trident 2018 military exercise in Ukraine, which started on September 3 and ends on Saturday.

Russian Federation is preparing to hold its largest military drills in nearly 40 years beginning Tuesday in eastern Siberia.

Putin, who is armed forces commander-in-chief, is expected to observe the exercises this week alongside Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, who is overseeing them.

Vostok 2018 comes amid increasing tensions between Moscow and the West over Russia's involvement in the conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Crucially, with North Atlantic Treaty Organisation expanding up to Russia's Western border and with "non-aligned" Scandinavian countries Sweden and Finland increasingly cooperating in North Atlantic Treaty Organisation war games, one major element to the games sure to attract the attention of Washington military planners is the inclusion of simulated nuclear weapons attacks.




Russian Federation said only 12,700 troops took part, but the Baltic States said the true number was far bigger.

In the far East of Russian Federation began military exercises "Vostok-2018", which will be the largest in modern history of Russian Federation.

The drills began as Putin hosted China's leader Xi Jinping at an economic forum in Vladivostok.

During Wednesday's exercises, Russian strategic bombers launched long-range cruise missiles at a firing range while warships opened fire on targets at sea, the Associated Press reported.

Jack Watling, a research individual practicing in land warfare at London's Royal United Services Institute a defense think tank elucidated Vostok 2018 as an affirmation of force to some expanse.

Some experts pointed out the USA helped spawn closer Russia-China military ties by labelling them strategic competitors.

The military exercises come at a time of escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over accusations of Russian interference in western affairs and conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the drills were justified due to "aggressive and unfriendly" attitudes towards Russian Federation.

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