Vostok 18, from 11-18 Sept, huge Russian military exercise with 300K personnel. China is sending a regiment, incl many General Staff observers; goal is training to protect Asia from an invading force [the US]. -- Gordon Chang, Daily Beast

Sep 11, 2018, 06:21 AM



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Image: Arms of Chita Oblast, seat of the Vostok 18 military exercises.  Chita Oblast was a federal subject of Russia (an oblast) in southeast Siberia. Its administrative center was the city of Chita (home of the second-largest Buddhist monastery in Russia). .It had extensive international borders with China and Mongolia and internal borders with Irkutsk and Amur Oblasts, as well as with the Buryat and the Sakha Republics. On March 1, 2008, Chita Oblast merged with Agin-Buryat Autonomous Okrug to form Zabaykalsky Krai.


Gordon Chang, Daily Beast, anent Vostok 18, from 11 to 18 Sept.,the largest military exercise Russia has run in a long time, with 300,000 personnel. China is sending a regiment and lots of planes and tanks, as well as many General Staff observers. The goal of the exercise is to protect Asia from an invading force (the US). Most important aspect is symbolic: Russia and China are almost allies . . . China has never done land manouevers like this before. . . . Korea is one country with two governments. . . . Japan and many South Koreans want the US to stay; unfortunately, our president wants to leave. Fortunately, he’s trying to slow down the South Korean movement to aid North Korea, but we’re not doing enough. Chinese-Russian border: danger, perhaps not immediately; but in the foreseeable future China will become more overt in its claim [from the Ch‘ing Dynasty] to a great deal of Siberia. “Denuclearization” of Korea to means to Kim: US removes its nukes from South Korea, leaves South Korea entirely, maybe leaves Japan, and only thereafter will Kim consider denuclearizing. Moon Jae-in is not too interested in liberty in South Korea or democratic governance, and surely not in free markets or capitalism; all Moon wants is reunification of the peninsula. .. MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia will next month hold its biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Tuesday, a massive military exercise that will also involve the Chinese and Mongolian armies. The exercise, called Vostok-2018 (East-2018), will take place in central and eastern Russian military districts and involve almost 300,000 troops, more than 1,000 military aircraft, two of Russia's naval fleets, and all of its airborne units, Shoigu said in a statement. The manoeuvres will take place at a time of heightened tension between the West and Russia, which is concerned about what it says is an unjustified build-up of the NATO military alliance on its western flank. NATO says it has beefed up its forces in eastern Europe to deter potential Russian military action after Moscow annexed Ukraine's Crimea in 2014 and backed a pro-Russian uprising in eastern Ukraine. The war games, which will take place from Sept. 11-15, are likely to worry Japan, which has already complained about a Russian military build-up in the Far East, something Moscow has linked to Tokyo's roll-out of the Aegis U.S. missile system. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is due to attend a forum in the Russian city of Vladivostok over the same period, and a Japanese Foreign Ministry official said on Tuesday that Tokyo always paid attention to shifts in Russian-Chinese military cooperation. Shoigu said the war games would be the biggest since a Soviet military exercise, Zapad-81 (West-81) in 1981. "In some ways they will repeat aspects of Zapad-81, but in other ways the scale will be bigger," Shoigu told reporters, while visiting the Russian region of Khakassia. Shoigu said that both Russia's Pacific and Northern Fleets would take part, while the Russian Ministry of Defence has said that Chinese and Mongolian military units will also participate. "A MORE ASSERTIVE RUSSIA" Asked if the cost of holding such a massive military exercise was justified at a time when Russia is faced with higher social spending demands, Kremlin spokesman Dm...