Russia to undertake ‘unprecedented’ military drills in September, mobilizing 300,000 troops

In September, Russia will undertake its annual Vostok-2018 international strategic drills. This was reported by TASS and Bloomberg News on Tuesday, August 28th. The drill is unprecedented in scale.

Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu stated that the Vostok-2018 (“Vostok” is “East” in English) will mobilize about 300,000 troops and include the participation of thousands of Chinese soldiers as well. The Northern and Pacific fleets will add about 1,000 aircraft to participate in the drills. From TASS:

Russia’s largest maneuvers Zapad-2017 (West-2017) held last year jointly with Belarus involved about 12,700 troops. [As of] January 1, 2018, the size of the Russian Armed Forces stands at 1,902,758 personnel, including 1,013,628 servicemen.

According to the defense minister, Russia has not held maneuvers comparable by their scope with the upcoming military drills since 1981.

“In some ways, they resemble the Zapad-81 drills but in other ways they are, perhaps, even larger. Over 1,000 aircraft, almost 300,000 servicemen at almost all the training ranges of the Central and Eastern Military Districts and, naturally, the Pacific and Northern Fleets and the Airborne Force will be fully employed,” the defense minister said.

The maneuvers traditionally begin with a large series of preparatory measures: about 15 special drills for troops’ logistic support. “And, as a rule, this is coupled with a snap check announced by the Russian president, the supreme commander-in-chief, which has actually become good practice in our life and work,” the defense minister said.

“Just imagine that 36,000 pieces of military hardware are simultaneously in motion: these are tanks, armored personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles and all this is, naturally, checked in conditions close to a combat environment,” the Russian defense minister said.

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