Russian war games are underway in the nation’s Far East region, the biggest military training exercise conducted since Soviet days.
The training exercises come as the biggest in a recent series of surprise drills in the Russian military. NATO and the west have seen the increasingly frequent shows of military power to be a not-too-subtle challenge to their dominance.
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent end of Soviet Russia and the Cold War era, Russia’s military was severely gutted. But in more recent times, this trend has been reversed with a push to rebuild and expand the armed forces in Russia.
The latest war games involve an impressive number of units, including 160,000 servicemen, 1,000 armored tanks and vehicles, 130 planes, and 70 naval ships, RT reports Russia’s Defense Minister saying.
Military commanders in the area said they were unaware the details of the drill until after they had begun. These surprise drills are being done to expose flaws with Russia’s military response and prepare for sudden large-scale conflict.
The Russian war games have also called on a number of troops from outside the region. Some will have to travel as far as 1,800 miles to join the drills. At least 700 flat wagons and dozens of railway cars will participate in transporting the units to the Far East and Trans-Baikal areas.
The units have been ordered to arrive for the maneuvers within two days. Air power, such as Sukhoi Su-27 fighters, have been called on to monitor and escort ships and units traveling in the Pacific Fleet to the drills, Moscow Times reports.
The drills are planned to be continue until July 20. It is the third of such unannounced maneuvers this year, and Russian President Putin has said that more surprise training will come.
Russia has grown increasingly bold and defiant of NATO in recent years. From their support of the Syrian government to their role in the on-going Snowden scandal, Russia clearly wants to reassert themselves as a world power.
These Russian war games in the country’s Far East region could also be seen as verification that a new cold war is brewing in Asia, with most powers in the area rapidly expanding their armed forces.