Saturday, 22 September 2018

W Weekly Update

August 25 - September 1

Russia to stage massive war games

Bloomberg writes that Russia is about to hold its biggest military maneuvers since the Cold War next month, mobilizing about 300,000 troops and 900 tanks.

According to Russia's defense ministry, the Vostok-2018 exercises in Russia’s eastern and central military districts -- spanning from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific coast -- from Sept. 11-15 will involve almost a third of the country’s soldiers, making them the largest since “Zapad-81” drills in 1981 staged by the Soviet Union and its Warsaw Pact allies. Some 1,000 aircraft and both the Northern and Pacific fleets will be deployed. Chinese and Mongolian forces will also participate. China will contribute 3,200 troops and 30 aircraft.

The New York Times cites Alexander Gabuev, a China expert at the Carnegie Moscow Center, a research group, who said that while the scale of the exercises was significant, “what is most significant is that China is taking part in drills that Russia only used to do with its allies.”

At the same, he said, Chinese troops taking part in Vostok-2018 may well be restricted to a military training ground in Tsugol, near where the borders of China, Russia and Mongolia meet. That could allow a far bigger Russian contingent elsewhere to prepare for clashes with China.

Russia’s military, Mr. Gabuev said, “is not so naïve that it is not preparing a contingency plan” in case relations with China take a sudden turn for the worse, as has happened many times in the past.”

 

Prepared by Marina Muradyan

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