Russian President Supervises Military Maneuvers Vostok 2018

Military vehicles are seen during the Vostok-2018 military drills at Tsugol training ground not far from the borders with China and Mongolia in 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.

The weeklong Vostok (East) 2018 manoeuvres span vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, the Arctic and the Pacific Oceans and showcase the military might of Russian Federation and China at a time of simmering tensions with the U.S. They involve almost 300,000 Russian troops along with 1,000 Russian aircraft and 36,000 tanks and other combat vehicles.

Putin, the supreme commander-in-chief of the Russian Armed Forces, observed part of the Vostok-2018, or East-2018, drills held in the eastern part of Russia, a Kremlin statement said.

'Russia is a peace-loving state, we do not have and cannot have aggressive plans, our foreign policy aims at constructive cooperation with all countries interested in it, ' the president said.

The annual war games involve simulating attacks on enemies or repelling invasions from border countries.

The war games last all week and are being viewed with concern by NATO
The war games last all week and are being viewed with concern by NATO

"Today here, at the Tsugol range in the Zabaikalsky Territory, the most active stage of the (Vostok-2018) drills came to an end".

"For this reason, we are committed to further strengthening our armed forces and supplying them with the most up-to-date weapons and equipment, as well as promoting global cooperation". "We do not have and we can not have any plans for aggression".

Given the declining and increasingly acrimonious state of relations since Russia's annexation of Crimea, Putin "wishes to be as best prepared as possible to prevail in open warfare", Giles said.

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

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