Russian Defense Minister Army Sergei Shoigu announced that Russia will hold a largest military exercise in September.
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.
The exercise, called Vostok-2018 (East-2018), will be held on September 11-15 and will be the largest event of the troops’ combat training.
According to the defense minister, Russia has not held maneuvers comparable by their scope with the upcoming military drills since 1981.
“In some ways, they resemble the Zapad-81 drills but in other ways they are, perhaps, even larger. Over 1,000 aircraft, almost 300,000 servicemen at almost all the training ranges of the Central and Eastern Military Districts and, naturally, the Pacific and Northern Fleets and the Airborne Force will be fully employed,” the defense minister said.
The maneuvers traditionally begin with a large series of preparatory measures: about 15 special drills for troops’ logistic support. “And, as a rule, this is coupled with a snap check announced by the Russian president, the supreme commander-in-chief, which has actually become good practice in our life and work,” the defense minister said.
The manoeuvres will take place at a time of heightened tension between the West and Russia, which is concerned about what it says is an unjustified build-up of the NATO military alliance on its western flank.
NATO spokesman Dylan White said that Russia had briefed the alliance on the planned exercise in May and that NATO planned to monitor it. Russia had invited military attaches from NATO countries based in Moscow to observe the war games, an offer he said was under consideration.