Last month, Russia launched a large-scale series of training exercises known as Vostok (Eat). Like last year’s Zapad (West) drills, these exercises approximate a large-scale conflict on one side of Russia’s expansive territorial claims. These drills are usually quite the spectacle, with Russian officials making a habit of lying about how large (or small) the exercises will be, and with embarrassing mistakes like a Russian helicopter firing rockets at journalists last year.

Despite such setbacks, these drills do tend to be an impressive display of Russia’s latest and greatest military capabilities.  Vostok drew particular interest from the international community because China, another of America’s competitors, opted to participate. China has the largest standing army in the world and a rapidly expanding Navy. Technological and logistical limitations, however, prevents China from asserting its large military as leverage beyond its borders. China is also severely lacking in operational experience, something they hope to offset through joint training operations with Russia and increased drone flights over the Middle East.

Here are some of Vostok’s most exciting pictures:

A Chinese armored personnel carrier with a national flag rolls during military exercises on training ground “Tsugol”, about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia, Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018. The weeklong Vostok (East) 2018 maneuvers launched Tuesday span vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, the Arctic and the Pacific Oceans. They involve nearly 300,000 Russian troops along with 1,000 Russian aircraft and 36,000 tanks and other combat vehicles. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Military helicopters fire over the training ground “Tsugol,” about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
In this photo, provided by the Russian Defense Ministry Press Service, Russian helicopters fly, in the Chita region, Eastern Siberia, during the Vostok 2018 exercises in Russia. Russia’s military chief of staff says that the military exercises are expected to be the biggest in three decades, and will involve nearly 300,000 troops. (Russian Defense Ministry Press Service pool photo via AP)
A Russian navy landing vessel unloads an armored vehicle as aircraft provide cover during the Russian military maneuvers Vostok 2018 on the training ground “Klerk,” about 50 kilometers (31 miles)south of Vladivostok, Russian Far East port, Russia. The weeklong Vostok 2018 maneuvers are Russia’s biggest-ever war games. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)
Chinese tanks roll during military exercises on training ground “Tsugol,” about 250 kilometers (156 miles ) south-east of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia (AP Photo/Sergei Grits).
Attack helicopters overfly the training ground “Telemba”, about 80 kilometers (50 miles ) north of the city of Chita during the military exercises Vostok 2018 in Eastern Siberia, Russia. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

 

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