Tokyo’s fears as Russian tanks, fighter jets and helicopters storm beach in mock invasion on the Sea of Japan in one of biggest drills since Soviet era

Saturday, September 15, 2018
By Paul Martin

300,000 troops, more than 1,000 military aircraft and two naval fleets are taking part in this week’s drills
Tanks and soldiers were seen emerging from a landing craft on a beach on the Sea of Japan coast on Saturday
NATO and the U.S. have said they will monitor the exercises amid tensions between Moscow and the West

By TIM STICKINGS
DAILYMAIL.COM
15 September 2018

Moscow showed off its military might today as Russian warships, tanks, planes and helicopters staged a mock invasion on a beach in the Kremlin’s largest military drills since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Tanks and marines were seen emerging from a landing craft on the shore at Klerka training ground on the Sea of Japan coast, outside the town of Slavyanka, more than 60 miles south of Vladivostok.

Tokyo has raised concerns about the Russian military build-up in the area, particularly near the disputed Kuril Islands which are claimed by Japan in a dispute dating back to World War II.

NATO has said it will monitor the exercises closely amid tensions with Moscow, as will the United States which has a strong military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

Some 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 military aircraft and two naval fleets are taking part in this week’s Vostok-2018 drills in Siberia and waters off Russia’s east coast.

Some 3,500 Chinese troops were expected take part in the exercises, which run until Monday.

The drills come amid heightened tension between Russia and the West following the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal in Britain and accusations of Kremlin-sponsored efforts to interfere in elections.

Russian President Vladimir Putin inspected the war games on Thursday, vowing in a speech to soldiers to strengthen the Russian army and supply it with new-generation weapons and equipment.

Putin said Russia was a peaceful country ready for cooperation with any state interested in partnership, but that it was a soldier’s duty to be ready to defend his country and its allies.

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