Russia to hold biggest war games in almost 40 years: Russian media

Russian tanks

GETTY VOSTOK 2018 36,000 tanks 1,000 planes and two entire fleets will take part

In comments to Russian media, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov explained the need for such vast drills by pointing to this "international situation, which is frequently quite aggressive and unfriendly for our country".

Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said the five days of military drills will pave the way for the Vostok (East) 2018 military exercise. They will be carried out in central and eastern Russian Federation.

"More than 1 thousand aircraft, nearly 300 thousand soldiers, nearly all landfills in the Central and Eastern military districts, of course, Pacific fleet, Northern fleet, involved Navy", - said Shoigu. Participation should take about 300 thousand soldiers and about 36 thousand units of ground equipment, more than a thousand helicopters, planes and drones.

Mr Shoigu compared the Vostok-2018 exercises to Soviet manoeuvres in 1981, which involved a pretend attack on North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The scale of Vostok-2018 is equivalent to the forces deployed in one of the big World War Two battles.

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R), accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (C), meets with top military officials at the National Defense Control Center of the Russian Federation in Moscow on November 17, 2015. From January 1, 2018, the size of the Russian Armed Forces stands at 1,902,758 personnel, including 1,013,628 servicemen.

"China's defence ministry put out a statement talking of deepening military co-operation and "'enhancing both sides' capabilities to jointly respond to various security threats". But it did say the exercises would "not target any third party". Some of the forces have already arrived at the Tsugol training range.

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The games will unfold amid rising tensions between the West and Russian Federation, especially over what Moscow claims is an unjustified build-up of troops on Russia's western flank.

Military analysts have suggested that in addition to concerns, Japan could be anxious by the games, given recent complaints from Tokyo over what it says is a Russian military build-up in the Far East nearby the strategically crucial Russian port of Vladivostok.

Russian Federation denies the accusations.

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.

"All countries have the right to conduct exercises of their armed forces, but it is important that they are implemented transparently and predictably", said white.

Just days after Russian Federation ended the Zapad-2017 exercises, thousands of Polish and other NATO troops launched major defensive exercises in Poland's north.

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