More Dramatic Footage Published Of Russian War Games, Including Bering Sea Operation

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by Tyler Durden
Saturday, Sep 15, 2018 - 13:15

With Russia's Vostok-2018 war games are now in full swing, reaching its mid-point Friday, and set to conclude September 17, more dramatic footage of the epic size of the military exercise has been released through official state sources. This included video of a major Friday naval operation on the Bering Sea the vast but strategically key expanse of water separating Alaska and Russia. 

The military exercise kicked off in Russia's far east on Tuesday, involving 300,000 troops and close to 40,000 military vehiclesIt's been billed as the most expansive war games on Russian soil since 1981 under the Soviet Union. 

Satellite image of the Vostok 2018 games via Digital Globe

It further includes 1,000 aircraft, two Russian naval fleets and all airborne units, along with a contingent from Chinaand a Mongolian troop deployment. 

And to be expected the Russian Ministry of Defense (MoD) is keen to advertise to the United States and the West  with which Moscow has been experiencing soaring tensions especially this week as new severe tensions have been announced by the White House  just what Russian firepower, warships, and air power can do to an enemy on the battlefield. 

On Thursday President Vladimir Putin personally inspected the war games, and said in a  speech to soldiers that he would bolster and strengthen the Russian army with a "new generation of weapons and equipment," according to Reuters.

And Friday the Russian navy conducted exercises in the Bering Sea which simulated a major rescue operation. The MoD subsequently released footage of the Northern Fleet’s Vice-Admiral Kulakov destroyer and the Alexander Obrakovsky landing engaged in the drill. 

Valery Gerasimov, chief of Russia’s general staff, had previously described some of strategic maneuvers to be employed in the games: “There are plans to practice massive air strikes, cruise missile training, defensive and offensive operations, raids, and bypass maneuvers."

Meanwhile in the eastern Siberian territory of Zabaikalsk, hundreds of paratroopers jumped from planes and other troops fast roped from helicopters.

The MoD also released clips of missiles being fired from its sophisticated S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile system and its Buk medium-range missile system, which are among the systems operational in some parts of Syria where Russian military assets are stationed.

Meanwhile, the US-funded official news source VOA News has cited experts who dispute the Russian defense ministry's much touted numbers on total troop deployment.

"Numbers and figures for these kinds of exercises are typically what we might call to be true lies, in that they're statistical lies whereby the Russian army's General Staff tallies every single unit-formation that either sends somebody to the exercise or has some tangential command component in it," said Michael Kofman, Russia and Eurasia security and defense analyst at the Kennan Institute, as cited by VOA.

"This basically means that if a brigade sends one battalion, then they count the whole brigade," he explained. "So these numbers are not entirely fictional, but you have to divide them by a substantial amount to get any sense of how big the exercise actually is."

"And they typically revise the numbers after the fact," Kofman added. "For example, originally after Vostok 2014, they said that they had 100,000 participants, and then I guess they decided it wasn't impressive enough, because they later posted an official figure of 155,000." However, more precise numbers are expected to be settled after Vostok-2018.