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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 Mongolian army also sent troops.

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.

"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.

While vowing to empower the country's military further, Putin said that the exercises had demonstrated the troops' ability "to deflect potential military threats".

"Therefore, we will continue to strengthen our armed forces, equip them with latest weapons and technologies, to develop worldwide military cooperation", Putin said. Additionally, military cooperation will be further developed.




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

China's People's Liberation Army is participating in the display of military force, with some 3,200 troops, 24 helicopters and six jets.

Russian Deputy Defense Minister Col. Gen. Alexander Fomin stressed last week that the Vostok-2018 war games are not an anti-NATO event despite claims made by Western media, and that they are held several thousand kilometers away from Russia's western borders.

"That's why 87 observers from 59 countries attend these maneuvers and I welcome all of them", the president said.

Russian Federation hosted its war games close to the border with China, mobilizing 300,000 troops in a show of force that will include joint exercises with the Chinese army.


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