Putin watches war games billed as Russia's biggest ever; China taking part

Putin watches war games billed as Russia's biggest ever; China taking part

The Vostok-2018 maneuvers are the biggest in the history of the Russian army, unparalleled since 1981, when the Soviet Union held drills involving about 100,000 people.

The Mongolian army also sent troops.

"Out duty to our country is to be ready to defend our sovereignty, our security and our national interests and, if we must, to support our allies", the president said following a huge military parade after the manoeuvres.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation spokesman Dylan White 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".

Putin further stressed that he highly assessed the performance of the Russian army and navy in the Vostok-2018 drills.

He added: "Therefore, we will continue to strengthen our armed forces, equip them with latest weapons and technologies, to develop worldwide military cooperation".

'Today in the Tsugol polygon, in (the region of) Zabaikalie, the most active stage of the maneuvers, carried out at a high level, ends. Additionally, military cooperation will be further developed.

The Chief of the Russian General Staff Valery Gerasimov said earlier that the exercises were preceded by a full cycle of preparatory measures, including sudden checks, as well as command and staff training.

Russian Federation has said the Vostok-2018 exercises involve almost 300,000 troops and all types of military equipment, as well as the participation of the Chinese and Mongolian armies.

The large-scaled war games involve troops from the Eastern and Central Military Districts, the Northern Fleet and the Airborne Troops, as well as some units from the Russian Aerospace Forces.

He said that 87 observers from 57 countries have been invited to watch the drills.



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