Skip to main content

Russia in largest war games since Soviet era

By Brad Lendon, CNN
July 16, 2013 -- Updated 1545 GMT (2345 HKT)
Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects military exercises near Sakhalin Island in the Pacific Ocean, on Tuesday, July 16. Russian President Vladimir Putin inspects military exercises near Sakhalin Island in the Pacific Ocean, on Tuesday, July 16.
HIDE CAPTION
War games in Russia
War games in Russia
War games in Russia
War games in Russia
War games in Russia
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • President Putin oversees games from Sakhalin island
  • 160,000 troops involved
  • Games began last Friday

(CNN) -- Russia is in the midst of its biggest war games since Soviet times, with 160,000 troops, 130 planes, 70 ships and thousands of tanks and armored vehicles participating in the country's Far East, according to media reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the drills last Friday and they began that night, according to reports from the RIA Novosti news agency. Putin flew to Sakhalin island off the eastern coast to oversee the games on Tuesday, Russia's presidential press service reported.

"The main purpose of the activities is to check the readiness of the military units to perform assigned tasks and evaluate of the level of personnel's training and technical preparation as well as the level of equipment of units with arms and military equipment," the Russian Defense Ministry said in a statement reported by Russian Television.

Assisted by a Russian scientist, Putin fixes a satellite transmitter to a tiger during his visit to the Ussuriysky forest reserve of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Far East on August 31, 2008. Assisted by a Russian scientist, Putin fixes a satellite transmitter to a tiger during his visit to the Ussuriysky forest reserve of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Far East on August 31, 2008.
Cult of Putin
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
>
>>
Photos: Cult of Putin Photos: Cult of Putin

"The Sakhalin part of the maneuvers was intended to simulate a response to a hypothetical attack by Japanese and U.S. forces," Konstantin Sivkov, who is retired from the Russian military's General Staff, told the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper, according to a report from the BBC.

But Russia's deputy defense minister, Anatoly Antonov, said the games were designed to "enhance the army's combat readiness" and were not directed against any specific nations, the BBC reported.

Some of the units involved in the exercises moved more than 3,000 kilometers (1,800 miles) from their bases to participate, according to the Russian media reports.

The current drills, which are expected to last through the week, are the latest in a series of snap exercises conducted by the Russian military this year, Russian Television reported. Similar drills have been conducted in the country's west, south and central military districts, the report said.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The tragic killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a bitter public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1327 GMT (2127 HKT)
North Korea warns the United States that U.S. "citadels" will be attacked, dwarfing the hacking attack on Sony that led to the cancellation of a comedy film's release.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it's never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
More than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation, Unicef has warned.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1322 GMT (2122 HKT)
Boko Haram's latest abductions may meet a weary global reaction, Nigerian journalist Tolu Ogunlesi says.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
Drops, smudges, pools of blood are everywhere -- but in the computer room CNN's Nic Robertson reels from the true horror of the Peshawar school attack.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0243 GMT (1043 HKT)
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
December 18, 2014 -- Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT)
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 2027 GMT (0427 HKT)
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 0212 GMT (1012 HKT)
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT