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14 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Russia will strengthen army, says Putin

AFP
Russia will strengthen
army, says Putin
Military vehicles are seen during the Vostok-2018 (East-2018) military drills and Russia's President Vladimir Putin (inset-C) watches the drills at Tsugol training ground not far from the borders with China and Mongolia in Siberia yesterday. AFP PHOTO

TSUGOL: President Vladimir Putin yesterday visited Russia’s largest-ever military drills in eastern Siberia, where he said Moscow planned to strengthen the country’s armed forces, reports AFP. Russia has said the Vostok-2018 exercises involve nearly 300,000 troops and all types of military equipment, as well as the participation of the Chinese and Mongolian armies. Putin praised the “mastery” of the Russian army and its “capacity to face down potential threats” after watching the drills at the Tsugol military training ground near the borders with Mongolia and China.

Some 25,000 soldiers, 7,000 vehicles as well as 250 helicopters and planes took part in the simulated aerial and ground attack from an “undefined” enemy.

“Out duty to our country is to be ready to defend our sovereignty, our security and our national interests and, if we must, to support our allies,” the president said following a huge military parade after the manoeuvres.

“This is why we will continue to strengthen our armed forces, to provide them with cutting edge arms and equipment and develop our international military partnerships,” he said. “Russia is a peaceful country. We do not have and we cannot have any plans for aggression”.

The exercises in the far east continue until September 17.

Russia has said the drills are purely defensive in nature but NATO has condemned them as a rehearsal for “large-scale conflict.”

According to the Russian army, 87 observers from 59 countries were present for the Russian-Chinese exercises.

The exercises come amid tense relations between Russia and the West that have fallen to a post-Cold War low.

Addressing a gathering of the soldiers, Putin said Russia was a peaceful country ready for cooperation with any state interested in partnership, but that it was a soldier’s duty to be ready to defend his country and its allies.

“Therefore we are going to further strengthen our armed forces, supply them with the latest generations of weapons and equipment, develop international military partnership,” Putin said.

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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