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Russia launches biggest war games since Cold War

IANS  |  Moscow 

on Tuesday launched its biggest military exercises since the Cold War, with the participation of around 300,000 troops in eastern Siberia, the said.

was sending 3,200 troops to take part in "Vostok-2018", with many Chinese armoured vehicles and aircraft. was also sending some units, the reported.

The last Russian exercise of similar scale took place in 1981 during the Cold War, but Vostok-2018 involves more troops and the week-long manoeuvres come at a time of heightened Nato-tensions.

According to news, members of the Eastern and Central military districts as well as ships of the Pacific and Northern Fleets, the Airborne Force, more than 1,000 aircraft and around 36,000 tanks as well as other armoured vehicles were expected to take part in the Vostok-2018 exercises.

As the exercises began, Russian met his Chinese counterpart at a forum in the eastern city of and told him "we have a trusting relationship in the sphere of politics, security and defence".

The actual operations will start on Thursday and last five days, said Valery Gerasimov, the of the Russian staff.

Relations between and Nato -- a 29-member defence alliance dominated by the US -- worsened since annexed Crimea from in 2014.

Kremlin said the drills were justified given "aggressive and unfriendly" attitudes towards Russia. The drills, set to conclude on September 17, will be carried out in two stages.

In the the first phase, troops will be deployed in the Russian Far East, the North-Pacific and the Northern Sea, while the second phase would test inter-forces coordination in both defensive and attack operations.

The exercise will be spread across five Army training grounds, four airbases and areas in the of Japan, and of Okhotsk. Up to 80 naval vessels will take part, from two Russian fleets.

The scale of Vostok-2018 is equivalent to the forces deployed in one of the big War II battles, the said.

NATO said he was briefed on Vostok-2018 in May and would monitor it. He said "all nations have the right to exercise their armed forces, but it is essential that this is done in a transparent and predictable manner".



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, September 11 2018. 19:00 IST