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Russian defense chief calls Vostok-2018 drills’ transparency ‘unprecedented’

Sergey Shoigu noted that the drills were covered by 326 Russian and foreign media outlets

MOSCOW, October 10. /TASS/. Russia’s strategic Vostok-2018 maneuvers in September were unprecedented in terms of transparency, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu said on Wednesday.

"I stress that the maneuvers were unprecedented in terms of their transparency. The international community had been provided all information beforehand on their plot and participants," Shoigu said, summing up the exercises.

Briefings were held at the Russia-NATO Council, at a forum of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe and also for foreign military attaches, Shoigu said. Special notifications were sent via the OSCE channels.

"Shortly before the beginning of maneuvers, the top brass had informed more than 80 foreign military attaches and 187 journalists about the goals and tasks of the upcoming steps of troops and forces," the minister said.

The drills were covered by 326 Russian and foreign media outlets, according to Shoigu. Live TV broadcast of combat actions and review of troops was held from the Tsugol training ground in the Far East’s Transbaikal Region. A total of 87 observers from 59 countries monitored the drills.

The large-scale Vostok-2018 exercises ran on September 11-17 under the command of the Russian defense minister on the soil and in the waters of Russia’s Far East and in the neighboring waters of the Pacific Ocean. A total of 300,000 Russian servicemen took part in the maneuvers, as well as more than 1,000 planes, helicopters and drones, along with as many as 36,000 tanks, armored fighting vehicles and other vehicles, and up to 80 ships and support vessels.