Major drills are now being staged in eastern Siberia close to the border with China and 300,000 Russian troops have been involved in the week-long exercise together with joint exercises alongside Chinese military counterparts.
The exercises, which involve more than 1,000 military aircraft as well as up to 36,000 tanks, come amid tense relations between Russian Federation and the West. Analysts say that China's participation - the first ever country not from the former Soviet Union to be invited - shows the depth of the Asian neighbours' friendship.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission Shao Yuanming, as well as Hansalem.
The weeklong Vostok (East) 2018 maneuvers span vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, as well as the Arctic and the Pacific Oceans.
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.
Putin praised the "mastery" of the Russian army and its "capacity to face down potential threats" after watching the drills at the Tsugol military training ground near the borders with Mongolia and China.
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