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.Follow @gorkhapost
Russian rocket fails in the mid air, crew lands safely
COSMODROME—Booster rocket carrying a Soyuz spacecraft with a Russian and US astronaut on board headed for the International Space Station failed in mid-air on Thursday, forcing the crew to make an emergency landing.
U.S. astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely without any harm.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov, quoted by Interfax, said the problem occurred when the first and second stages of the booster rocket were in the process of separating.
The rocket was launched from the Soviet-era cosmodrome in Baikonur, Kazakhstan. A Reuters reporter who observed the launch from around 1 km away said that it had gone smoothly in its initial stage.
“Search and rescue teams are in the air and heading towards the expected touchdown location for the Soyuz spacecraft returning to Earth carrying two crew members,” NASA said in a statement.