MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russia will hold its biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union next month, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday, a massive military exercise that will involve the Chinese and Mongol armies.
The exercise called Vostok-2018 (East-2018) will take place in the Central and Eastern Russian military districts, comprising nearly 300,000 soldiers, more than 1,000 military aircraft, two Russian naval fleets and all their airborne units, said Shoigu (19659002) The Maneuvers in a time of increased tensions between the West and Russia worrying about an unwarranted buildup of the NATO military alliance on its western flank.
NATO says it has stepped up its forces in Eastern Europe to avert potential Russian military action after Moscow annexed the Ukrainian Crimea in 201
The war games, p-prime from 11 to 15 September, are likely to alarm Japan, which has already complained of a Russian military build-up in the Far East, something Moscow has associated with Tokyo's introduction of the Aegis American missile system ,
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to attend a forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok during the same period, and a State Department official said Tuesday that Tokyo has always paid attention to changes in Russian-Chinese military cooperation.
Shoigu war games would be the largest since a Soviet military exercise, Zapad-81 (West-81) 1981.
"In some ways they will repeat aspects of Zapad-81, but in other ways the scale will be greater" Shoigu told reporters when he visited the Russian region of Khakassia
Shoigu said that both the Russian fleet and the Northern Fleet would participate, while the Russian Defense Ministry said that Chinese and Mongolian military units will also participate in the special operation unit Arrest of activists during the organization of the Collective Security Treaty (CSTO) mil "/>
Shamil Zhumatov / Reuters
"A CHANGING RUSSIA"
Asked whether the cost of such a massive military exercise is justified at a time when Russia faces higher social spending, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said such war games are essential are.
"The ability of the country to defend itself in the current international situation, which is often aggressive and unfriendly towards our country, means (the exercise) is justified," Peskov told reporters at a conference call.
Asked whether China's commitment meant Moscow and Beijing went for an alliance, Peskov said it showed that the two cooperated in all areas.
China and Russia have participated in joint military exercises earlier but not so widely. Emagazine.credit-suisse.com/app/art … = 157 & lang = DE Russia has informed the alliance on the planned maestro operation in May and NATO will control it Russia had military attaches He invited NATO countries based in Moscow to watch the war games, an offer he said would be considered.
"All nations have the right to exercise their armed forces, but it is important that this be done in a transparent and predictable manner," White said in an e-mail message.
"Wostok shows how strongly Russia is concentrating on bringing about a major conflict, fitting in with a pattern we have seen for some time now: a more assertive Russia that significantly increases its defense budget and military presence."  Shoigu Announced Ready Action in Central and Eastern Military Districts This Month
"Imagine 36,000 armored vehicles – tanks, armored personnel carriers, and armored infantry vehicles – moving and working all at the same time of course being tested in conditions as close as possible to military ones, "Shoigu said on Tuesday.
(Additional coverage by Katya Golubkova and Andrey Kuzmin in Moscow, Robin Emmott in Brussels and Elaine Lies in Tokyo, edited by Andrew Bolton)