Putin watches war games billed as Russia's biggest ever; China taking part


President Vladimir Putin on Thursday promised to strengthen the army and supply it with new generation weapons, as he traveled to watch Russia's biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Over 300,000 thousand personnel have been involved in Vostok 2018, including thousands of troops from China and a contingent from Mongolia.

"This is the first time our army and fleet have undergone such a hard and large-scale test", said Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday.

Despite relations with the West being at a Cold War low, Mr Putin claimed Russian Federation was a peaceful country and wanted co-operation with any state which wanted to work in partnership with it. He said this while inspecting the troops at the Tsugol firing range, where the Vostok 2018 exercise was held.

"Out duty to our country is to be ready to defend our sovereignty, our security and our national interests and, if we must, to support our allies", the president said following a huge military parade after the manoeuvres.

Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, Russian Chief of General Staff Valery Gerasimov, Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe and Deputy Chief of the Joint Staff Department of China's Central Military Commission Shao Yuanming, as well as Hansalem.

China sent about 3,200 troops, 900 combat vehicles and 30 aircraft to join the drills at a Siberian firing range, a deployment that reflects its shift toward a full-fledged military alliance with Russian Federation.