Vladimir Putin launches Russia's biggest war games in decades as Nato tensions heighten

Vladimir Putin

Russia has launched its largest military exercise in decades involving 300,000 armed forces in eastern Siberia.

The week-long drills come at a time of heightened Nato tensions with Russia.

China is also sending over 3,000 troops to take part in Vostok 2018 along with some units from Mongolia.

The previous Russian exercise involving a similar scale was in 1981 during the Cold War, but there are more troops in Vostok 2018.

As the exercise began Russian President Vladimir Putin met Chinese president Xi Jinping in the eastern city of Vladivostok.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the drills were justified due to "aggressive and unfriendly" attitudes towards Russia.

Russian defence ministry says 36,000 tanks will take part in Vostok 2018, from today until September 17 as well as more than 1,000 aircraft.

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