Russia has invited Chinese troops to its largest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union

Russian tanks make manoeuvres during the Zapad West 2017 war games (Picture: Rex)

Russia will stage its biggest war games since the fall of the Soviet Union, its defence ministry has said.

It has invited thousands of troops from China and Mongolia to take part in the exercises in Siberia, called Vostok 2018, next month.

In a statement, defence minister Sergi Shoigu said the war games will have an “unprecedented scale both in territory and number of troops involved.

He said it would be the “largest event since the Zapad-81 manoeuvres”, which featured up to 150,000 troops in 1981.

In its Vostok 2014 war games, Russia used 155,000 troops, 8,000 pieces of equipment and more than 600 aircraft and 80 naval vessels.


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China is expected to send 3,200 troops, 900 weapons and 30 planes and helicopters to the war games.

They will be hosted at Russia’s Tsugol training range the Russia/China border between September 11 and 15.

Russian Mi-8 helicopters perform exercises during the Zapad West 2017 war games (Picture: Rex)

Ahead of the war games, General Shoigu ordered surprise inspections of airborne troops.

These inspections involve “16 special exercises” with an emphasis on “aviation readiness” and “timely deployment of military command and control bodies”, CNN reported.

China is launching new warships and guided-missile destroyers, as well as a new stealth fighter.

A report by the Pentagon last week said China was “likely” training its pilots of missions against the US.

However, China said the report was “irresponsible”, insisting it only wants to protects its “sovereignty and security”.