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    Russia starts large-scale military drills in Far East

    Russia starts large-scale military drills in Far East

    © RIA Novosti . Igor Zarembo © RIA Novosti . Vitaliy Ankov © Sputnik / Vitaliy Ankov
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    The Russian Armed Forces started on Tuesday large-scale Vostok-2010 military exercises in Siberia and the country's Far East.

    The Russian Armed Forces started on Tuesday large-scale Vostok-2010 military exercises in Siberia and the country's Far East, a spokesman for the Far Eastern military district said.

    "The exercises started on schedule, without delays. They are being held on the territory of the Far Eastern and Siberian military districts from June 29 through July 8," the official said.

    At least 20,000 troops, up to 70 warplanes and 30 warships will take part in the drills on 15 training grounds.

    Gen. Nikolai Makarov, chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, earlier said this year's strategic exercises will include the firing of live ammunition, simulated airborne assaults and amphibious assault landings.

    As part of the drills, the Armed Forces will practice the deployment of additional troops in Siberia and the Far East to reinforce the existing military contingent in the region in case of a military conflict.

    Makarov stressed on Monday that the Vostok-2010 drills were not aimed against any one country.

    "This exercise...is not directed against any specific country or military-political bloc. It has a purely defensive nature in ensuring the security and national interests of the [Russian] state in the Far East," he said.

    Russia holds Vostok strategic command-and-staff exercises every two years. More than 8,000 troops took part in Vostok-2008.

     

    KHABAROVSK, June 29 (RIA Novosti)

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