Russian Federation carries out biggest war games since cold war

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The exercises will be held across nine training ranges and three seas: the Sea of Japan, the Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.

With 300,000 soldiers, 36,000 vehicles, 1,000 aircraft and 80 ships, the Vostok 2018 exercises will be even bigger than the mock battles fought during the Cold War.

Jack Watling, a research individual practicing in land warfare at London's Royal United Services Institute a defense think tank elucidated Vostok 2018 as an affirmation of force to some expanse. There are tactical operations involved, robotics application, and deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles.

"[It also] signifies that the political strategic trust and military cooperation between China and Russian Federation has reached a historic high".

The alliance has said the "East 2018" maneuvers demonstrate that Russian Federation is focusing on preparations for a large-scale conflict. The drill is also defensive in nature, the ministry said.

He noted that China feels that the Washington's hostile attitude and actions, such as deploying the THAAD missile defense system in South Korea, relieve it of any need to take USA views into consideration when deepening strategic trust with Moscow. "If Russia had not invited China, that would have been viewed by Beijing as a potentially risky activity by Russia". Now, that they are working together, they are now perceived as allies against common aggressors, Gabuev explained to the Financial Times.

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The week-long drills come at a time of heightened North Atlantic Treaty Organisation tensions with Russian Federation.

While both Russian Federation and China have said the manoeuvres are not directed against other countries they do coincide with Nato's Rapid Trident 2018 military exercise in Ukraine, which started on September 3 and ends on Saturday.

Ukraine-Russia relations have not been very good after Crimea was annexed to Russia in 2014. This week, Russian Federation held military exercises in the Mediterranean. Participation can only be compared to the Soviet drill "Zapad-1981", which took place on the western Soviet borders that and had spread to the Baltic region.

Mikhail Barabanov, editor-in-chief of the Moscow Defense Brief, believed Vostok 2018 is an opportunity for both Russian Federation and China to assess each other's military preparedness.

Xi said the two countries' friendship was "getting stronger all the time".

No doubt, both Russian Federation and China relish the opportunity of flexing military muscle just as U.S. threats are heating up and tensions are at boiling point over Syria, where both countries have condemned past American and Western military actions targeting the Assad government.

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