Russia said on Monday that the Vostok 2022 military exercises will be held from September 1 to 7 in different locations in the Far East and the Sea of Japan and involve more than 50,000 troops from China, India and several other countries.
“The Vostok 2022 strategic command and staff exercise envisages various scenarios of operations by combined arms and coalition forces (troops) to ensure military security of the Russian Federation and its allies within the area of responsibility of the Eastern Military District,” the Russian Defence Ministry was quoted as saying by the state-owned TASS news agency in a statement.
The drills will be held from September 1-7 and “practice defensive and offensive operations” at seven training grounds of the Eastern Military District and in maritime and coastal areas of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan, the ministry said.
“The strategic maneuvers will bring together over 50,000 troops and more than 5,000 items of armaments and military hardware, in particular, 140 aircraft, 60 combat ships, gunboats and support vessels,” it said, adding that it will engage troops from China, India, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Syria and several ex-Soviet nations.
There were no immediate comments from the Indian Army or the Ministry of Defence in New Delhi on the participation of Indian soldiers at the Vostok-2022 military exercises in Russia.
Russia’s military contingent in the drills will involve military command centers and troops of the Eastern Military District, Airborne Force units, long-range and military transport planes, the Russian defence ministry said.
“The drills are set to master the skills of commanders and headquarters in exercising command and control of combined arms and coalition forces to repel acts of aggression in the Eastern direction and in the Far Eastern maritime zone, raise compatibility and interoperability of the collation forces in jointly coping with the objectives of maintaining peace, protecting interests and ensuring military security in the Eastern region,” the ministry said.
The maneuvers will also check the preparedness of military command centers in planning operations in maritime areas, ensuring all-embracing logistics support, command and control of battlegroups in warfare, it said.
The tactical episodes of the drills are based on various scenarios of practical operations by military contingents of Russia and partner states, with the basic stage to be held at the Sergeyevsky practice range, the ministry said.
The Russian and Chinese naval forces will practice joint operations in the Sea of Japan to defend sea lanes and areas of maritime economic activity and assist ground forces in maritime directions, it added.
Last year, India attended Exercise ZAPAD 2021 drills in Russia in which 17 countries including China and Pakistan took part.
The Russian defence ministry stated earlier that during the drills the participating forces would practice measures to maintain military security in the eastern region.
Earlier this month, the Chinese Defence Ministry in a press release said the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) has sent personnel to participate in this exercise, which aims to deepen pragmatic and friendly cooperation with the militaries of participating countries, enhance the level of strategic coordination of all participating parties, and enhance the ability to deal with various security threats.
The drills are unrelated to the current international and regional situation, it said, apparently referring to the Ukraine war as well as the Ladakh standoff.
The eastern Ladakh border standoff erupted on May 5, 2020, following a violent clash in the Pangong lake areas.
As a result of a series of military and diplomatic talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area.
So far, the two sides held 16 rounds of Corps Commander Level talks to resolve the prolonged standoff.