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Russia has kicked off week-long war games with China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua, and Syria.

The war games, dubbed “Vostok 2022,” will involve an estimated 50,000 troops, 5,000 weapons units, 140 aircraft, and 60 warships. The exercises are being held in the Sea of Japan and various parts of Russia.

According to Russia’s defense ministry, Russian General Staff chief General Valery Gerasimov will personally oversee the exercises. The defense ministry added that Russia and China’s navies will “practice joint action to protect sea communications, areas of marine economic activity, and support for ground troops in littoral areas the Sea of Japan.”

Chinese defense ministry spokesperson Colonel Tan Kefei released a statement saying “China’s participation in the drills aims to deepen pragmatic and friendly cooperation between the militaries of the participating countries, enhance the level of strategic cooperation among all participating parties, and enhance the ability to jointly respond to various security threats.”

Alexander Gabuyev, a military analyst, reacted to the drills by saying “The joint maneuvers with Moscow, including the naval drills, are intended to signal that if the pressure on Beijing continues it will have no other choice but to strengthen the military partnership with Russia. It will have a direct impact on the interests of the US and its allies, including Japan.”


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