Russia on Thursday launched large-scale military maneuvers involving several allies, including China, a sign of closer rapprochement between Moscow and Beijing amid tensions with the United States. Belarus, Mongolia and Tajikistan are also taking part in the actions.
The exercises, dubbed Vostok-2022 (Orient-2022), will be held in the Far East until September 7, while Moscow has been on a massive offensive against Ukraine since February. China, for its part, has been going through a diplomatic crisis with the United States since Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the US House of Representatives, visited Taiwan in August.
Vostok-2022 exercises began Thursday morning with fighter jet maneuvers, anti-aircraft unit movements and simulations of mine-sweeping in the Sea of Japan, Russia’s defense ministry said.
“Fighter aircraft crews should practice intercepting targets in the air and air strikes against targets on the ground,” the ministry said in a statement. It distributed photos and videos of army planes taking off and flying in formation and anti-aircraft vehicles (Pantsir-S1) performing manoeuvres.
More than 50,000 military personnel are being mobilized for the exercise, according to Moscow, as well as more than 5,000 pieces of weapons and equipment, including 140 aircraft and 60 war and support ships. Soldiers from neighboring countries or allies of Russia take part, such as Belarus, Syria, India, but especially China.
Washington is concerned about the rapprochement between China and Russia, who have close defense ties. The US believes that the rapprochement threatens world peace.
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