Russia Hosts Military Exercise with China, India, Belarus

August 29th, 2022 - by The Economist & Reuters & MSN

Xi-Putin Show Of Unity
Amid Ukraine, Taiwan Tensions

The Economist

(August 28, 2022) — You might think that, having blundered by launching the largest war in mainland Europe in over 70 years, Vladimir Putin would shun a needless round of large-scale military exercises. Think again.

Even as Russia is struggling to find sufficient men to fill the ranks of its invading army in Ukraine, it will host the Vostok military exercises, in part in Siberia.

The last time these took place, in 2018, some 300,000 soldiers from various countries, including China, took part. Presumably this iteration will be smaller, but Russia has persuaded Belarus, China, India, Mongolia, Tajikistan and others to participate.

China to Send Troops to Russia
For Joint Military Exercise


(August 27, 2022) — Chinese troops will travel to Russia to take part in joint military exercises led by the host and including India, Belarus, Mongolia, Tajikistan and other countries, China’s defense ministry said Wednesday.

China’s participation in the joint exercises was “unrelated to the current international and regional situation,” the ministry said in a statement.

Last month, Moscow announced plans to hold “Vostok” (East) exercises from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5, even as it wages a costly war in Ukraine. It said at the time that some foreign forces would participate, without naming them.

Its last such exercises took place in 2018, when China took part for the first time.

China’s defense ministry said its participation in the exercises was part of an ongoing bilateral annual cooperation agreement with Russia.

“The aim is to deepen practical and friendly cooperation with the armies of participating countries, enhance the level of strategic collaboration among the participating parties, and strengthen the ability to respond to various security threats,” the statement said.

Under Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, Beijing and Moscow have grown increasingly close.

Shortly before Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine, Beijing and Moscow announced a “no limits” partnership, although U.S. officials say they have not seen China evade U.S.-led sanctions on Russia or provide it with military equipment.

Russia’s eastern military district includes part of Siberia and has its headquarters in Khabarovsk, near the Chinese border.

Retain Presence, but Signal Distance

India Must Look China in the Eye at Vostok 2022

Lt. General Prakash Menon / MSN

(August 23, 2022) — India’s participation in multinational military exercises often reflects the imperative for it to walk a tightrope across the global geopolitical divide. However, the deepening and expanding friction points of the global divide are posing greater challenges for India’s ability to maintain a strategic posture that seeks context and issue-based cooperation.

For more than two decades, India has carried out bilateral and multilateral military exercises with the US, China, Russia and a long list of nations mainly from Europe and Asia.

It is no surprise that as the three-week-long, 13th Indo-US Joint Special Forces Exercise Vajra Prahar 2022 is underway in Himachal Pradesh, there are unconfirmed reports of India’s participation in the Russian-hosted Vostok 2022 slated from 30 August to 5 September.

Russia has been conducting multilateral exercises like Vostok 2022 since 2009. The geographical location of events determines the name of the exercise.

In 2021, it was Zapad, which means ‘West’, and this year it is Vostok (East) and taking place on 13 training grounds in Russia’s eastern military district. Apart from showcasing Russia’s combat capability, its interoperability with the participating nations is a major area of focus.

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