World

Russia's massive war games in the heart of Siberia

Russia's massive war games in the heart of Siberia

The Vostok-2018 war games, the largest staged by Russian Federation since the Cold War, were partly held at the Soviet-built training ground in Telemba, some 200 km to the east of Lake Baikal in the heart of Siberia, Efe reported.

Vostok-2018, set to become the largest military exercises held by Russian Federation in over 35 years, are being held on September 11-17 at five ranges in the east of Russian Federation, and in the waters of the Sea of Japan, Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.

The massive Vostok-2018 exercise is running from September 11 to 17 under the command of Russian Defense Minister Army General Sergei Shoigu on the soil and in the waters of Russia's Far East and in the neighboring waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Accepting salutes from marching soldiers and tanks flying Chinese flags, Mr Putin said Russian Federation was a peaceful country that wanted co-operation with foreign states but needed to protect its and its allies' sovereignty.

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said: "These are the largest drills of the Armed Forces, which acquired the status of global drills, since the Zapad 1981 exercises".

The main stage of the Vostok-2018 strategic drills was held at the Tsugol firing range in the Trans Baikal Region
Vostok-2018: West has nothing to fear, says Putin as China joins massive war games

"You demonstrated the military prowess, showed your capability to successfully counter potential military threats", Putin told troops at the firing range. "We do not have and we can not have any plans for aggression".

Military commentators believe Russian Federation is seeking to project power, ward off perceived western aggression and prepare for the prospect of a global armed conflict by holding Vostok-2018.

Putin said Russian Federation is a "peaceful nation" that "does not have any aggressive plans".

During his tour of the area, he referred to the strengthening of the Army with state-of-the-art weapons and equipment, and he also thanked the Chinese and Mongolian military participants in the exercises.

"Our foreign policy is aimed at constructive cooperation with all countries that are interested in it", he added.





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