MOSCOW — Russia launched a massive military exercises in the far east of the country on Tuesday — also joined by China where hundreds of thousands troops swept across Siberia — a powerful show of burgeoning military ties between Moscow and Beijing amid their tensions with the US.
The drills will feature more than 1,000 aircraft, about 36,000 tanks and other military vehicles, 80 warships and support vessels.
The drills have been condemned by North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
Russia said the weeklong manoeuvrers, known as Vostok (East) 2018, would span vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, the Arctic and the Pacific Ocean and involve almost a third of Russia’s million-strong military.
According to Russia’s defence ministry, the exercise will continue till September 17 in Russia’s Eastern Military District.
Besides, China has also decided to send 3,200 members of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) to take part in the operations. The Chinese air force has also sent 24 helicopters and six jets belonging to the Russian air bases for the exercise.
According to CNN, NATO has said it will monitor the exercise closely as will the United States, which has a strong military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. It is likely to be watched attentively by Japan and North and South Korea.
In 1981, the erstwhile Soviet Union exhibited its show of force as it conducted similar war games that saw between 100,000 and 150,000 Warsaw Pact soldiers take part in Zapad-81 — the largest military exercises of the Soviet era.
7 killed after Delhi-Bound train derails in Bihar
NEW DELHI — At least seven people have died and 14 others injured after a Delhi-bound train derailed early Sunday morning in Bihar’s Vaishali district.
Eleven coaches of 12487 Seemanchal Express derailed near Sahadai Buzurg at around 3:52 am. Three of the coaches overturned and the high force of the impact destroyed them completely.
The injured are being transported to local hospitals.
The superfast train from Jogbani in Bihar to Delhi’s Anand Vihar Terminal was running at full speed when the accident took place, officials said.
Bodies are believed to be trapped inside one of the affected coaches and the number of dead is likely to rise, local police official said.