Russia teams up with China to launch its largest EVER military drills: 300,000 soldiers, and nuclear-capable missiles feature in exercises NATO claim are rehearsals for a 'large conflict'
Russia has 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 defence ministry said in a statement.
It released video footage of military vehicles, planes, helicopters and ships getting into position for the initial stage of the drills.
The drills, which include the Chinese and Mongolian armies, have been condemned by NATO as a rehearsal for 'large-scale conflict'.
The war games are underway at five ranges in the east of Russia, and in the waters of the Sea of Japan, Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.
The Russian army has compared the show of force to the USSR's 1981 war games that saw between 100,000 and 150,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers take part in 'Zapad-81' (West-81) - the largest military exercises of the Soviet era.
But Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said these exercises are even larger, with 300,000 soldiers, 36,000 military vehicles, 1,000 planes and 80 warships taking part in the drills.
He said the games would be at an 'unprecedented scale both in territory and number of troops involved.'
'Imagine 36,000 military vehicles moving at the same time: tanks, armoured personnel carriers, infantry fighting vehicles - and all of this, of course, in conditions as close to a combat situation as possible,' Shoigu said.
Some 30 aircraft from the Chinese air force will also take part in the five day drills.
The Chinese claimed the vast operation was not 'directed against any third party' and would focus purely on 'defences, firepower strikes and counterattack.'
The latest in a series of massive drills ordered by Putin come at a time of escalating tensions between Moscow and the West over accusations of Russian interference in western affairs and ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria.
Vostok-2018 also features more than twice the number of troops in the entire British armed forces, which is just below 150,000.
The Russian army is rolling out all of its latest additions for the event: Iskander missiles that can carry nuclear warheads, T-80 and T-90 tanks and its recent Su-34 and Su-35 fighter planes.
At sea, the Russian fleet is deploying several frigates equipped with Kalibr missiles that have been used in Syria.
Wednesday will see games featuring anti-aircraft technology, while the main event will be on Thursday, the defence ministry told journalists covering the event in eastern Siberia.
NATO said that Vostok-2018 'demonstrates Russia's focus on exercising large-scale conflict'.
'It fits into a pattern we have seen over some time - a more assertive Russia, significantly increasing its defence budget and its military presence,' the alliance's spokesman Dylan White said in late August.
Last month, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Russia's 'ability to defend itself in the current international situation which is often aggressive and unfriendly to our country is justified, essential and without alternative'.
Relations between Russia and the West declined sharply in 2014 with Moscow's annexation of Crimea and the subsequent conflict in eastern Ukraine.
The Kremlin has also accused NATO of expanding westwards and threatening Russian national security.
Moscow has increased the number of its large-scale military exercises in the Caucasus, the Baltic and the Arctic in recent years.
Russia's previous military exercise in the region, Vostok-2014, was almost half the size, with 155,000 soldiers participating.
The country's war games in Eastern Europe last year, Zapad-2017, saw 12,700 troops take part according to Moscow. Ukraine and the Baltic states said the true number was far bigger.
Russia has been preparing for the latest drills for weeks - at one point closing a road so planes could land near Khabarovsk, and firing missiles from land, surface and submarine at a target in the Sea of Okhotsk.
Separately he has a large convoy in the Arctic and some 25 warships in the Mediterranean – the biggest deployment since the deployed forces in Syria three years ago.
Ahead of the games, Russian forces unleashed a devastating display involving synchronised launches from land, surface vessel and submarine hitting targets in the Sea of Okhotsk.
The live-fire exercise hit two drifting targets in the Sea of Okhotsk on Russia's Pacific coast as Putin was on a trip to Siberia.
Four different types of cruise missile were used in the attack - Vulkan, Granit, Malakhit and Onyx.They were fired from the missile cruiser Varyag - flagship of the Pacific fleet - as well as missile corvettes Razliv and Moroz, and the Tomsk nuclear powered submarine.
They were supported by the Bastion missile system fired from land.
The distance of the targets was between 155 and 310 miles.
'All seven cruise missiles successfully hit the targets,' said a statement from Russia's eastern military district.
Earlier vehicles were halted on the Khabarovsk to Komsomolsk-on-Amur motorway to allow Su-30SM, Su-35S and MiG-31 pilots to test their landing and takeoff skills on the narrow road, according to local reports.
据当地媒体报道，早些时候为了让苏- 30sm、苏- 35s和米格-31飞行员在狭窄的公路上测试自己的起降技能，哈巴罗夫斯克至阿穆尔河畔共青城高速公路上的车辆被拦了下来。
Military Mi-26 helicopters also swooped in to land on the highway, and an An-26 was seen touching down on the two-lane road.
Halted motorists filmed the amazing scenes as they got a grandstand view for the military exercise close to the Chinese border in the Russian Far East.
来源：三泰虎 http://www.santaihu.com/46044.html 译者：Jessica.Wu
Ex-Forces and Proud, London, United Kingdom, moments ago
This is a scary article. For those of you that think it is the West forcing Putin's hand, try reading the novel "Ghost Fleet". It is on the desks of four-star generals and junior naval officers, and it has found its way on to the recommended reading lists for every branch of the American military.
Star Turn, south shields, United Kingdom, moments ago
Looks like China, the sleeping giant has woken up!