Vladimir Putin inspects war games, vows to beef up army

Steel march Putin reviews troops & armor on parade during massive military drills

Steel march Putin reviews troops & armor on parade during massive military drills

Vostok-2018, set to become the largest military exercises held by Russian Federation in over 35 years, are being held on September 11-17 at five ranges in the east of Russian Federation, and in the waters of the Sea of Japan, Bering Sea and the Sea of Okhotsk.

Russian Federation has said the Vostok-2018 exercises involve almost 300,000 troops and all types of military equipment, as well as the participation of the Chinese and Mongolian armies.

"It is our duty to our country and homeland to be ready to defend its sovereignty, security and national interests, and if necessary - to support the allies", Putin said.

36,000 tanks, 80 ships, and nearly 1,000 aircraft are taking part, according to the country's Ministry of Defense.

Putin said the war games demonstrate the Russian army is capable of countering military threats, without naming the aggressors.

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The head of the military department also noted that Vostok 2018 maneuvers are the largest event of the Russian Armed Forces combat training.

"For this reason, we are committed to further strengthening our armed forces and supplying them with the most up-to-date weapons and equipment, as well as promoting global cooperation".

Moscow and Beijing have vowed to stage regular joint war games similar to the massive ones being held this week, Russia's defence minister said.

But Putin played down the threat of Russian militarism, declaring his country a "peace-loving state". "We do not and can not have aggressive plans", the head of state said. The official noted that 91 observers from 57 countries, NATO Military Liaison Mission and EU Delegation to Russian Federation attend the large-scaled exercises.

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