Moscow – President Vladimir Putin on Thursday visited the site of Russia’s most extensive military exercise ever since the Cold War, the ‘Vostok 2018’. It involves 300,000 soldiers, 36,000 tanks and armoured vehicles, more than 1,000 fighter jets, helicopters and drones, 80 warships and submarines. At this time, President Putin assured the Russian defence forces were entirely ready for war. He justified the war exercises by saying, “Our duty to our country and motherland is to be ready to protect sovereignty, security and national interests of our country and, if needed, to support allies, like Syria. Thus, it was necessary to hold the war exercise”.
The war exercise of Vostok 2018 is underway in Siberia, in the Far East of Russia. It is the first time in 40 years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union that the country is believed to have held the best-ever exhibition of its military might at such a large scale. China and Mongolia have also participated in the war exercise. China has dispatched more than 3,000 soldiers, 900 tanks and armed vehicles, 24 helicopters and 6 fighter jets for participation in the Vostok 2018.
Apart from Siberia, the military drills have also been arranged in the Sea of Japan, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk. The United States and Japan alongside NATO, have criticised the mega military drill. Few analysts claim the war exercise to be a significant part of the anti-US policy of Russia and China. Russia has, however, rebuffed the claims.
President Putin claimed that Russia had displayed its military prowess through the war exercise and assured the country was prepared to counter any military threat. At the same time, Russia would continue to bolster its defence forces with the help of advanced weaponry and technology, asserted Putin.
Previously, Russia had held the Vostok war exercise in the year 2014. The ‘Zapad’ war exercise held this year is also known to be one of the biggest war exercises in the Russian defence history.