TSUGOL FIRING RANGE, Russia — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday attended Russia’s biggest-ever war games, which involved some 300,000 troops as well as a significant contingent of Chinese forces.
The weeklong Vostok 2018 maneuvers span vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, the Arctic and the Pacific Oceans and showcase the military might of Russia and China at a time of simmering tensions with the U.S.
As well as the troops, some 1,000 Russian aircraft and 36,000 tanks and other combat vehicles are involved.
China sent about 3,200
troops, 900 combat vehicles and 30 aircraft to join the drills at a Siberian firing range, a deployment that reflects its shift toward a full-fledged military alliance with Russia.
Speaking at the Tsugol firing range about 80 miles north of the border with China, where Russian and Chinese troops performed joint drills, Putin lauded the troops for their skills, saying they “demonstrated their capability to deflect potential military threats.”
Chinese media outlets have described the Chinese army involvement in the drills as the country’s largest-ever dispatch of forces abroad for war games.