[Ed. – The exercises themselves are not unusual. The frequency and size of them now do hark back to the patterns of the Cold War. That said, there is a key ingredient missing, and that is the Cold War’s perennial operational focus on opposing NATO and U.S. allies in the Far East with a scripted theater war plan. Such a recurring war plan has not been visible in the Russian exercises that have ramped up since 2007.]
Russia’s military forces in the country’s east were put on high alert Monday ahead of massive war games that also involve China and Mongolia, the largest show of power in nearly 40 years, the Russian defense minister said.
Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said the five days of military drills will pave the way for the Vostok (East) 2018 military exercise. Shoigu said those maneuvers, set for next month, will be the largest since the massive Soviet war games in 1981.
The Kremlin spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said President Vladimir Putin could attend the exercise. …
As part of a smaller, separate military exercise this week under the auspices of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a security group dominated by Moscow and Beijing, Chinese warplanes landed Monday at a Russian air base in the Chelyabinsk region in the Ural Mountains.