Analysts: Russia's Vostok '18 Troop Numbers, 'China Alliance' Claims Questionable

Russian President Vladimir Putin is hosting his Chinese counterpart at an economic forum in the far eastern port city of Vladivostok today as armed forces from both countries descend on eastern Siberia to launch Moscow's largest-ever military drills. Russia's week-long deployment alongside Chinese and Mongolian troops, known as "Vostok-2018" (East-2018), comes at a time of heightened tensions between Moscow and the West over accusations of Russian interference in Western affairs and ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Comparing this week's show of force to the Soviet Union's 1981 war games during which between 100,000 and 150,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers took part in "Zapad-81" (West-81)—the largest military exercises of the Soviet era—Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said these exercises will be even larger, with 300,000 soldiers, 36,000 military vehicles, 1,000 planes and 80 warships taking part in the drills. China's participation in the quadrennial war games, while comparatively modest with only 3,200 men and 900 weapons units, is also unprecedented, leading some to view it as an unequivocal warning to the United States and Europe. "It sends a signal to Washington that if the U.S. continues on its current course by pressuring Russia and imposing more sanctions, Russia will fall even more into the firm embrace of China, America's only strategic competitor in the 21st century," Alexander Gabuev of the Carnegie Institute in Moscow recently told The Associated Press, adding that Beijing's participation indicates that Russia and China no longer view each other as military threats. Other experts, however, disagree, questioning both the transparency of Vostok-2018 troop estimates and the political significance of China's inaugural participation. "Numbers and figures for these kinds of exercises are typically what we might call to be true lies, in that they're statistical lies whereby the Russian army's General Staff tallies every single unit-formation that either... If you wish to read this full breaking news headline, plus more articles from around Thailand and Asia like, Analysts: Russia's Vostok '18 Troop Numbers, 'China Alliance' Claims Questionable, simply click on 'Read full story' below, but 1st please give us a 'LIKE' or 'SHARE' before you leave. Thank you Analysts: Russia's Vostok '18 Troop Numbers, 'China Alliance' Claims Questionable





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Published By: VOA NEWS - Tuesday, 11 September, 2018



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