Russia has announced it plans to hold large-scale military exercises in a far eastern district next month. As Reuters comments of the planned drills, they will be held "thousands of miles from the war it is waging in Ukraine."
A Tuesday defense ministry statement said the military's ability to conduct major drills remained unaffected by the "special operation" in neighboring Ukraine, a war which is now six months in.
Describing that the armed forces haven't had to cancel or cut its routine drills, the MoD statement said, "We draw your attention to the fact that only a part of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation is involved in the special military operation (in Ukraine), the number of which is quite sufficient to fulfil all the tasks set by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief."
Reuters observes of the statement:
The "Vostok" (East) exercises will take place from Aug. 30 to Sept. 5. They appear intended to send a message that Russia, despite the costly five-month war in Ukraine, remains focused on the defense of its entire territory and capable in military terms of sustaining "business as usual".
NATO has defined and described the Vostok drills as "part of a system of strategic exercises that the Russian Armed Forces have been developing since 2009. It is one of the four named annual strategic exercises conducted on a rotating basis among four of Russia’s five military districts."
"These visible events represent a small fraction of what is a whole-of-government and nationwide Russian effort to develop the ability to conduct large-scale conflict on short notice against a major military power and to influence potential adversaries," NATO's website details further.
In 2018, the eastern war games were used to highlight the growing relationship between the Russian and Chinese militaries, causing deep alarm in the West, given the PLA army's growing participation. Very likely Vostok 2022 will include the participation of China and Mongolia, just as in the past.
Meanwhile, a slew of mainstream media articles have of late sought to highlight morale and troop shortage problems as Russian forces attempt to establish control over the whole of Donbas, in eastern Ukraine. Moscow has disputed these accounts, however, saying the opposite is true and that it remains the Ukrainian side that is collapsing.