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Defense chief reveals details of Vostok-2018 military drills

The exercise will be the largest-ever in the history of modern Russia

MOSCOW, September 4. /TASS/. The active phase of the Russian army’s largest-ever exercise Vostok-2018 will be held at nine proving grounds and in the Sea of Japan and the Bering and Okhotsk seas on September 11-17, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told a distance conference on Tuesday.

"The active phase of the exercise is due on September 11-17 at five general purpose proving grounds, four Aerospace Force and Air Defense grounds and in the Sea of Japan and the Bering and Okhotsk seas," Shoigu said.

"A couple of words about the Vostok-2018 exercise. Preparations for them included comprehensive snap checks of the Central and Eastern military districts, the Northern Fleet, the Airborne Troops and long-range and military transport aircraft," Shoigu recalled.

By now the participating forces have been deployed at unfamiliar proving grounds and performing combat training tasks.

"Aircraft have been flying maximum range sorties with refueling in flight and practicing landings at tactical airfields. Naval ships have been performing combat maneuvering and firing practices," Shoigu said.

The exercise will be the largest-ever in the history of modern Russia.

"Taking part in it will be about 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 planes, helicopters and drones, up to 80 combat and logistic ships and up to 36,000 tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles," Shoigu said.

"Involved in the main scenario at the Tsugol proving ground, the Eastern Military District, will be a contingent of the Chinese People’s Liberation Army of up to 3,500 officers and men," Shoigu said, adding that the exercise was expected to enhance the level of field, naval and air training of the personnel and practice operations in the eastern military direction and crucial sea and ocean areas.

Information for other countries

Shoigu issued instructions to arrange for a news briefing for foreign military attaches devoted to the Vostok-2018 exercise.

"I’m giving instructions to the chief of the General Staff, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, and deputy defense ministers General of the Army Dmitry Bulgakov and Colonel-General Alexander Fomin to hold a briefing on the Vostok-2018 exercise for the military attaches accredited in Moscow, including those from the NATO countries," Shoigu said.