Russian, Chinese and Mongolian troops hold joint parade

Mikhail Metzel  TASS

Mikhail Metzel TASS

The weeklong Vostok (East) 2018 maneuvers span vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, as well as the Arctic and the Pacific Oceans.

The drills held on September 11-15 involved almost 300,000 troops, about 36,000 military vehicles, and more than 1,000 aircraft from Russia's Eastern and Central military districts, as well as its Northern Fleet. The exercise surpasses even the biggest Soviet manoeuvrs in 1981.

China sent 900 combat vehicles and 30 aircraft to join the drills at Tsugol, underlining a fully-fl edged military alliance with Russian Federation amid tensions with the USA over accusations the Kremlin meddled in the last presidential elections.

The Vostok 2018 drills are taking place in eastern Siberia near Russia's border with China and includes 300,000 Russian soldiers, 36,000 tanks, and an undisclosed amount of troops and equipment from Beijing.

Addressing the soldiers, Putin said it was "our duty" to "be ready to fight for sovereignty, security, and the national interests of our country".

Units of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and Mongolian Armed Forces also participated in the drills.

From China's perspective, the emerging military alliance with Russian Federation sends a strong signal to the USA and its ally Japan.

The war games come amid rising tensions between Russian Federation and the US over Moscow's backing of Bashar al-Assad in the Syrian civil war.

Russia, which has waged a military campaign in support of Assad, strongly warned the USA against military action in Syria.

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