Russia to hold largest war games since 1981

Russia to hold largest war games since 1981
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Russia is planning to hold its largest military exercise in nearly four decades, with the armies of China and Mongolia also taking part.

The war games will be held next month and involve nearly 300,000 troops, over a thousand military aircraft, two of Russia’s naval fleets and all its airborne units, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said in a statement to Reuters on Tuesday.

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Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov cited a tense international atmosphere.

“The country’s ability to defend itself in the current international situation, which is often aggressive and unfriendly towards our country, means [the exercise] is justified,” he told Reuters.

The war games come as tensions between Russia and the European Union and NATO rise.

Russia has expressed concern over the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe.

NATO says it is taking extra precautions after Russia invaded Ukraine in 2014 and annexed Crimea in a controversial referendum.