Russia is gearing up for its largest military exercise since the Cold War. Around 300,000 Russian troops, 1,000 aircraft, 36,000 tanks, armoured personnel carriers and other vehicles are expected to take part in Vostok 18 commenced on September 11 and will last until September 15. Up to 3,500 Chinese army personnel are also expected to join the war games at the Tsugol proving ground in Russia’s Eastern Military District. Mongolia is going to be involved as well, though the country has not confirmed any details regarding its participation.
The following infographic uses Atlantic Council data reported by RFE/RL to show how Vostok 18 compares with other recent Russian military exercises in terms of scale. Even though previous military exercises held in 2013 and 2014 involved up to 160,000 troops, this week’s event is expected to be the largest since the Soviet Union held the Zapad exercises in 1981. According to a Kremlin spokesman, President Putin is likely to attend the military manoeuvres this week.