Russia gears up for biggest military drill in history with 300,000 troops


Vostok is taking place on the heels of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation war games in Russia's border in the Baltic States and Poland in June.

Vostok 2018 is the largest overseas joint military exercise involving Chinese troops since 2012.

Sergei Shoigu said Wednesday that Russian Federation and China will hold major war games similar to the ongoing Vostok 2018 exercises on a "regular basis".

Dubbed Vostok 2018, the enormous exercise will include nearly 300,000 troops, more than 1000 planes, helicopters and drones and around 36,000 tanks, bombproof labor force conveyers and other vehicles as per the Russian officials.

" When asked if he was concerned about a potential military alliance between Russian Federation and China in the future, U.S. Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said he did not see the two countries aligned in the long-term".

Russian Federation has said it is showcasing methods developed during its military intervention in Syria, giving Chinese forces - which haven't fought in a war since 1979 - a glimpse of real combat skills.

But Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said this time would be even larger, with 300,000 soldiers, 36,000 military vehicles, 1,000 planes and 80 warships taking part in the drills.

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Asked on Tuesday if the United States was anxious about a possible military alliance between Russian Federation and China, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis told Pentagon reporters he thought "that nations act out of their interests".

Meanwhile Russia's foreign ministry has sought to downplay the significance of the sheer volume of forces deployed for Vostok-2018 as well as Chinese cooperation.

The start of the exercises coincided with a bilateral meeting between President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart President Xi Jinping at a forum in Valdivostok, where they vowed to fight attacks on their economies. He said Moscow is interested in seeing how Beijing military has evolved through modern times given that the country has not fought since 1979. "I see little in the long-term that aligns Russian Federation and China", Mattis told reporters in Washington.

Relations between Russian Federation and the West declined sharply in 2014 with Moscow's annexation of Crimea and the subsequent conflict in eastern Ukraine.

Russia and China have begun joint military drills in the Russian Far East.

Last month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia's "ability to defend itself in the current worldwide situation which is often aggressive and unfriendly to our country is justified, essential and without alternative".

The exercise is meant to test the capability of the Russian military.