Russia Schedules Biggest War Games In Almost 40 Years

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"Imagine 36,000 tanks and armored personnel carriers all moving at the same time", the defense minister said.

But NATO claimed Russian Federation could have been massively underreporting the scale of those exercises, which some of the alliance's eastern members said involved more than 100,000 servicemen.

The war games will take place from September 11 to 15.

Last year, Russian Federation staged its Zapad-2017 military drill in western regions of Russian Federation and allied neighbor Belarus (pictured above), deploying roughly 13,000 troops.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members have been boosting their defense spending and working to build military readiness - moves stoked recently by the combination of uncertainty about Trump and concern about assertive Russian action, like the incursion in Ukraine in 2014.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is set to attend a meeting in the Russian city of Vladivostok over the same period.

"In some ways they will repeat aspects of Zapad-81, but in other ways the scale will be bigger", Mr Shoigu said.

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Russian Minister of Defense Sergei Shoigu announced today the completion of the largest military maneuvers since 1981 in the country, with the participation of China and Mongolia.

Dworczyk said the joint Russian-Belarusian war games had a "very clear offensive trait". Chinese and Mongolian forces will also participate. "For the moment, there's no sign that Russian Federation and China are preparing a full military alliance, but on the military level, that's what's happening".

Meanwhile Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov defended the drills telling journalists that spending state funds on the country's defense capabilities was "justified, necessary and the only option", despite the country's economic problems.

The head of NATO's military committee said those war games could have been seen as "a serious preparation for a big war", despite Russian assurances they posed no threat.

He added: "Vostok demonstrates Russia's focus on exercising large-scale conflict".

Chinese involvement would include 3200 troops, more than 900 pieces of military hardware and 30 fixed-wing aircrafts and helicopters.

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