Russian Federation to hold biggest military drills since Cold War - DN - Defence Notes


The Minister of defence of Russia Sergey Shoigu announced the largest since the times of Leonid Brezhnev's military exercises in which will take part about 300 thousand soldiers and about 36 thousand units of ground equipment.

Russian Federation next month will hold the largest war games for the first time in almost 40 years, said today the defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, reports The Jerusalem Post.

This exercise will be the biggest military manoeuvre held by the country since a Cold War drill in 1981. He said they will take place next month and also involve the armies of China and Mongolia. "And all this, of course, in conditions as close to real battle", - the words quoted Shoigu.

A smaller-scale Russia-Belarus exercise was held in western regions a year ago.

According to the TASS news agency, About 300,000 troops and more than 1,000 aircraft are set to take part in Russian massive military exercise that will also involve the Chinese and Mongolian armies.

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And it gestures toward a warmer relationship with China, which has upped its military budget amid rising tensions of its own with its neighbors and the West.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the Vostok-2018 drills were justified given "aggressive and unfriendly" attitudes towards his country.

From NATO headquarters in Brussels, western spokesman Dylan White told Reuters that Russian Federation had briefed NATO in May, when alliance ambassadors met.

The Reuters news agency says the exercises, called Vostok-2018, will take place in Russia's central and eastern military districts.

It has been increasing since Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and backed pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

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North Atlantic Treaty Organisation is weighing Moscow's invitation to send observers to the September 11-15 war games.

"All countries have the right to conduct exercises of their armed forces, but it is important that they are implemented transparently and predictably", said white.

In Russia say that these exercises will be the largest since 1981.

The planned drill showed "a more assertive Russian Federation, significantly increasing its defence budget and its military presence", White said. The vast scale almost doubles another recent Vostok exercise, which Russia held just months after its 2014 annexation of Crimea - and which at the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin had hailed as "the largest exercises of this kind that we have ever held".

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