Russia on Tuesday launched its largest military exercise at the Tsugol training range in Russia’s Trans-Baikal region in eastern Siberia. Dubbed Vostok-2018, the war games involve hundreds of thousands of troops, armoured vehicles, tanks, drones and warships. According to reports, Chinese soldiers are also taking part in the war exercise for the first time. The start of Vostok-2018 coincided with a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. While Russia has clarified that the manoeuvres are not directed against other countries; NATO said that it will monitor the exercise closely.
Here are 10 things to know about Vostok-2018:
– According to the Russian defence ministry, 36,000 tanks, armoured personnel carriers and armoured infantry vehicles will take part in Vostok-2018, from 11 to 17 September.
– More than 1,000 aircraft and drones will also participate in the military exercise.
– Vostok-2018 it includes 297,000 servicemen.
– The exercise will be spread across five army training grounds, four airbases and areas in the Sea of Japan, Bering Straits and Sea of Okhotsk.
– Up to 80 naval vessels and support ships from two Russian fleets will take part in the war drill, reports said.
– The Russian Navy Pacific Fleet has also started military exercise Vostok 2018. Marines made motorized march to the loading to landing ships.
– Three brigades of Russian paratroops will play a key role, during drills at the Tsugol military range, near Russia’s borders with China and Mongolia.
– At least 24 helicopters and six fighter jets belonging to the Chinese air force are taking part in the exercise.
– Beijing has said 3,200 members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to join in the operations, about 5,000km east of Moscow.
– Russian air force’s S-300 and S-400 missile systems have been deployed at Vostok 2018 drills.