Putin plays war with China: Russia teams up with communist neighbor to launch its largest EVER military drills: 300,000 soldiers and nuclear-capable missiles rehearse in a clear signal to Trump

Tuesday, September 11, 2018
By Paul Martin

The week-long war games dubbed ‘Vostok-2018’ (East-2018), kicked off in far eastern Russia on Tuesday
Russia’s defence ministry released video of vehicles, planes, helicopters and ships getting into position
The massive drills, which include the Chinese and Mongolian armies, have been condemned by NATO
They coincide with talks between Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping at an economic forum

11 September 2018

Beijing issued a veiled threat to US President Donald Trump as Russia teamed up with China to launch its largest every military drills, with 300,000 Russian troops taking part along with Chinese soldiers in a massive show of force that has rattled the West.

The week-long war games dubbed ‘Vostok-2018’ (East-2018), ‘have kicked off’ in far eastern Russia and on the Pacific Ocean, the Russian defence ministry said in a statement.

It broadcast images on Tuesday of military trucks being transported on trains, columns of tanks, armoured vehicles and warships on the move, ships getting into position and combat helicopters and fighter aircraft taking off.

The ministry said this activity was part of the first stage of the exercise, which runs until September 17, and it involved deploying additional forces to Russia’s far east and a naval build-up involving its Northern and Pacific fleets.

The main aim was to check the military’s readiness to move troops large distances, to test how closely infantry and naval forces cooperated, and to perfect command and control procedures. Later stages will involve rehearsals of both defensive and offensive scenarios.

The defence ministry said the largest military drills since the end of the Cold War will involve about 36,000 tanks and 300,000 troops at sea and on the ground. China is sending 3,200 troops to take part in the exercises later this week.

They coincide with talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of an economic forum in Vladivostok in Russia’s far east on Tuesday.

Putin is expected to attend Vostok-2018 after hosting the economic forum in Vladivostok where Xi is one of the prominent guests.

There, Putin told Xi that Moscow and Beijing’s relations were based on trust in areas ranging from politics to security and defence.

He made the comments ahead of talks with his Chinese counterpart which are being held on the sidelines of an economic forum in the city of Vladivostok in Russia’s far east.

Putin praised Russia’s increasingly close ties with China, saying: ‘We have trustworthy ties in political, security and defence spheres.’ Xi for his part said the two countries’ ‘friendship is getting stronger all the time.’

At a news conference following the talks, Xi declared that Russia and China should work together to oppose protectionism and what he called unilateral approaches to international problems.

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