Russia has said that foreign troops have arrived in Russia to participate in a large-scale military exercise involving other powers such as India, China and Belarus.
Over 50,000 troops are reportedly taking part in the maneuvers.
The Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that countries participating and observing included Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Syria, and Tajikistan.
The images, obtained from the Russian MoD on Monday, August 29, purport to show military equipment and troops arriving at the Sergeevsky training ground in the Primorsky Krai region in Russia’s Far East for the “Vostok-2022” exercises.
The Russian Mod said in a statement: “Foreign military contingents participating in the Vostok-2022 maneuvers arrived at the Sergeevsky training ground in the Primorsky Territory and began to prepare and receive equipment and weapons. Also, the personnel have been studying the features of the terrain and climatic conditions in which joint training tasks are to be carried out.”
The Russian MoD also said that the exercise will include “military contingents and observers from the countries of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and other partner states, including: the Republic of Azerbaijan, the Algerian People’s Democratic Republic, the Republic of Armenia, the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of India, the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the People’s Republic of China, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mongolia, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Syrian Arab Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan.”
The Russian MoD said that its participating troops include members of the “Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, military command and control bodies and troops of the Eastern Military District, part of the forces of the Airborne Forces, and long-range and military transport aviation.”
The exercises and maneuvers are geared toward “ensuring the military security of the Russian Federation and its allies” in the Eastern Military District. The Eastern Military District, the second-largest out of Russia’s five Military Districts, corresponds to a huge chunk of territory that encompasses all of eastern Russia.
Russia said the exercises will take place from September 1 to September 7, “under the leadership of the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation” at several locations in the Eastern Military District, “as well as in the waters and coastal zones of the Sea of ​​Okhotsk and the Sea of ​​Japan”.
The Russian MoD added that “in the waters of the Sea of ​​Japan, joint practical actions to defend sea lanes and areas of maritime economic activity, and to assist land forces in the coastal direction will be practiced by groups of forces of the Pacific Fleet and the naval forces of the People’s Republic of China.”
Russia said the exercises involve over 50,000 military personnel, more than 5,000 weapons and military equipment, including 140 aircraft and 60 maritime vessels.
Zenger News contacted the Russian MoD for further comment, as well as the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense, but had not received a reply at the time of writing.
Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24 in what the Kremlin is still calling a “special military operation”. Tuesday marks the 188th day of the war.
The General Staff of the Armed Forces of Ukraine reported that between February 24 and August 30, Russia had lost about 47,100 personnel, 1,947 tanks, 4,269 armored combat vehicles, 1,060 artillery units, 279 multiple launch rocket systems, 149 air defense systems, 234 warplanes, 203 helicopters, 844 drones, 196 cruise missiles, 15 warships, 3,188 motor vehicles and fuel tankers, and 101 units of special equipment.
Russia has claimed that its casualties have been much lower, but provides infrequent updates on its latest figures.
Ukrainian troops are launching a counteroffensive in the southern region of Kherson, according to military officials. The spokesperson for Ukraine’s southern command, Natalia Humeniuk, said on Monday: “Today we started offensive actions in various directions, including in the Kherson region.”
Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said on Monday evening: “Anyone want to know what our plans are? You won’t hear specifics from any truly responsible person. Because this is war.”
He added: “But the occupiers should know: we will drive them to the border. To our border, the line of which did not change. The occupiers know it well. If they want to survive, it is time for the Russian military to flee.
“Go home. If you are afraid to return to your home in Russia–well, let such occupiers surrender, and we will guarantee them compliance with all norms of the Geneva Conventions. If they do not listen to me, they will deal with our defenders, who will not stop until they release everything that belongs to Ukraine.”
Zelensky advisor Oleksiy Arestovych said that Ukrainian troops have broken through the defensive positions of Russian forces in several frontline areas near the city of Kherson. Arestovych said they were also targeting ferries in the Kherson region that Russian forces have been using to resupply occupied territory on the Dnieper River’s west bank.
Inspectors from the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog arrived in Kyiv on Monday night. The head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Rafael Grossi, said that the team will visit the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which is Europe’s largest, from Wednesday to Saturday. He said: “We must protect the safety and security of Ukraine’s and Europe’s biggest nuclear facility.”