Russia to Hold Biggest War Games in Nearly 4 Decades

Russian tanks

Units from China and Mongolia will also take part in the exercises at military ranges in central and eastern Russian Federation.

Under President Vladimir Putin, Russia has massively upgraded its military equipment and modernized the armed forces, which have demonstrated their increased strength in operations in Syria in support of President Bashar Assad.

According to him, the exercise will involve about 300 000 troops and 1,000 aircraft, and nearly all areas of the Central and Eastern military districts. They will take place in the central and eastern military districts, in southern Siberia, and the Far East. "And all of this, of course, in conditions as close to combat as possible".

The Minister said that such large-scale maneuvers in Russian Federation was not since 1981. Then the soldiers worked, including the deployment of troops on the territory of the neighboring Polish people's Republic, where vengeance was the protest under the auspices of "Solidarity". Just Transbaikalia coming about three thousand Chinese soldiers, more than 900 units of equipment, 30 helicopters and other aircraft.

Those were unprecedented at the time in terms of the number of troops and military hardware, with around 100,000 troops involved, Russian television reported.

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It comes at a time of heightened tensions between Russian Federation and the West.

Russia stoked alarm a year ago when it staged major war games on its western flank neighboring Poland and the Baltic States that North Atlantic Treaty Organisation said involved 100,000 troops - far above the 13,000 soldiers that Russian officials said took part. Tensions have been stoked by Russia's seizure of Crimea, its role in wars in Syria and eastern Ukraine, and its alleged election meddling in the United States and Europe.

Vasily Kashin, a senior fellow at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said that Kremlin is "preparing for possible conflict" amid the chilliest relations with the USA for decades.

The war games, which will take place from September 11-15, are likely to worry Japan, which has already complained about a Russian military build-up in the Far East, something Moscow has linked to Tokyo's roll-out of the Aegis U.S. missile system.

The planned drill showed "a more assertive Russian Federation, significantly increasing its defence budget and its military presence", White said.

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