Russia planning largest war games since Cold War; China to join

In its largest show of military might in nearly 40 years, Russian forces are planning to collaborate with China and Mongolia in the largest war games simulation since the depths of the Cold War.

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Moscow is planning to hold the Vostok 2018 exercises next month in Siberia, officials said Monday.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigusaid the maneuvers will be the largest since the Zapad war games, which were held at the height of the Cold War in 1981and involved as many as 150,000 troops.

“It will be unprecedented in terms of geographic scope and the strength of command and control centers and forces due to participate,” Shoigu said. “Involved in the exercise will be the Eastern and Central military districts, the Northern Fleet, Airborne Troops, and long-range and military transport aircraft, as well as command centers and forces of China’s and Mongolia’s armed forces.”

The Chinese Ministry of National Defense said the drills will last between Sept. 11and Sept. 15, and include about 3,200 Chinese troops, more than 900 pieces of weaponry and 30 fixed-wing aircraft and helicopters to conduct fire strike and counter-attack training.

Officials said the drills, which aren’t targeted at any third party, will consolidate the nations’ partnership and strengthen their ability to jointly deal with security threats and “safeguarding regional peace and security.”

Earlier this year, Russian authorities showed off new military weaponryPresident Vladimir Putin said would render NATO defenses “completely useless.”

In videos posted online, Moscow showed off five advanced weapon systems — the Burevestnik nuclear-powered cruise missile; the Avangard hypersonic missile system; the Sarmat intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM); the Poseidon underwater drone; and the Kinzhal hypersonic missile.

Last month, Moscow successfully test-fired a new air defense missile designed to guard against space attacks.

By Susan McFarland