MOSCOW, August 22 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Defense Ministry will conduct two large-scale exercises before the end of 2014 within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in China, including the organization's largest ever in August, a source in the ministry told RIA Novosti on Friday.
“All of the events planned by the Defense Ministry for 2014 will be held according to plan. The largest interspecific drills for the Russian Armed Forces will be Vostok-2014 planned for mid-September. The scenario for these drills has not yet been exposed,” the source said.
The first of the large-scale training exercises, Peace Mission, will be held on August 24-29 at the Inner Mongolian Zhurihe Training Base in northern China. It is an anti-terrorist drill for the SCO, in which military forces from Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and China will participate. The exercise will include more than 7,000 personnel, making it the largest SCO exercise so far.
The ministry said that it has planned 3,500 drills for 2014, including 29 international military exercises.
Earlier in August, it was reported that a total of four trains carrying some 1,000 Eastern Military District personnel from Russia had gathered at the location of the exercise in China’s Inner Mongolia region.
Zhurihe is China’s largest and most modern training base and the only training base where the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) can hold large-scale joint exercises.
On August 25, 2003, the PLA for the first time opened the Zhurihe Training Base to foreign militaries. The base covers an area of about 1,000 square kilometers (386 square miles). Its primary function is to organize troop units at division, brigade and regiment levels to complete combined tactics drills and cooperate with armored forces and other branches of the PLA to carry out technical or tactical training.