Russia intends to conduct major military exercises every five years, said Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoygu on Russia 1 TV channel, reported RIA Novosti.
He said that when the Supreme Commander-in-Chief [Putin] approves a plan for carrying out major maneuvers next year, a “main outline” of events is given. “The only thing that does not fall into this plan are unexpected inspections. Naturally, we have been planning these exercises and we plan to conduct them every five years,” the Minister said.
Shoygu explained that the state armament program is designed for ten years but Russian military need intermediate reference points to “understand and see where we are going and whether everything is alright here”.
On September 11-15, Vostok-2018 military exercises were held in Siberia and the Far East. As Shoygu stated, these have been the largest exercises since 1981. The maneuvers involved 300 thousand soldiers, 36 thousand tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles, as well as more than 1,000 helicopters, aircraft and drones. The main phase took place at the Tsugol training grounds in Transbaikal. The exercises involved soldiers of the People’s Liberation Army of China and the Mongolian Army. Russian President Vladimir Putin visited the training grounds.