Thursday, September 20, 2018

Putin attends Russia-China war games

TSUGOL FIRING RANGE, Russia (AP) — President Vladimir Putin on Thursday attended Russia's biggest-ever war games, which involved some 300,000 troops as well as a significant contingent of Chinese forces.

The weeklong Vostok (East) 2018 maneuvers span vast expanses of Siberia and the Far East, the Arctic and the Pacific Oceans and showcase the military might of Russia and China at a time of simmering tensions with the U.S.

As well as the troops, some 1,000 Russian aircraft and 36,000 tanks and other combat vehicles are involved. The exercise surpasses even the biggest Soviet maneuvers in 1981.

China sent about 3,200 troops, 900 combat vehicles and 30 aircraft to join the drills at a Siberian firing range, a deployment that reflects its shift toward a full-fledged military alliance with Russia.

Speaking at the Tsugol firing range about 130 kilometers (80 miles) north of the border with China, where Russian and Chinese troops performed joint drills, Putin lauded the troops for their skills, saying they "demonstrated their capability to deflect potential military threats."

He emphasized that "Russia is a peaceful nation," but noted that the country needs to strengthen its military capability to "be ready to protect its sovereignty, security and national interests, and, if necessary, support our allies."

The Chinese media have described the People's Liberation Army involvement in the drills as the country's largest-ever dispatch of forces abroad for war games.

From China's perspective, the emerging military alliance with Russia sends a strong signal to the U.S. and its ally Japan. China is intent on defending its interests in the South China Sea, which Beijing claims virtually in its entirety, as well as Taiwan and the Senkaku and Diaoyu islands controlled by Japan but claimed by Beijing.

For Russia, the increasingly robust alliance with China is particularly important in light of the strained relations with the U.S. and its allies and the looming threat of more biting U.S. sanctions.

The drills come amid tensions over Syria, where the U.S. and its allies threatened to launch strikes against President Bashar Assad's government if it uses chemical weapons to reclaim control of the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib.

Russia, which has waged a military campaign in support of Assad, strongly warned the U.S. against military action in Syria.

___

Isachenkov reported from Moscow. Nataliya Vasilyeva in Moscow contributed to this report.

 

 

Comments
Hernando woman crashes car with 2-month-old inside 'to get attention' of ex-boyfriend

Hernando woman crashes car with 2-month-old inside 'to get attention' of ex-boyfriend

DADE CITY — A woman intentionally crashed her car, with a 2-month-old girl inside, just to get the attention of her ex-boyfriend, according to the Pasco County Sheriff's Office. Tuesday night around 9 p.m., Breanna Bechtol, 21, of Weeki Wachee...
Updated: 8 minutes ago
Football player, band member, advanced student, girl: Pasco eighth-grader does it all well

Football player, band member, advanced student, girl: Pasco eighth-grader does it all well

TRINITY — Julie Michael stood in the metal bleachers, flute poised at her lips, ready to play the national anthem with the Seven Springs Middle School advanced band.As the band segued into the school fight song, the eighth-grader continued per...
Updated: 22 minutes ago
Following the money: Referendum and AC materials

Following the money: Referendum and AC materials

We've been collecting documents to supplement our reporting about the upcoming Hillsborough sales tax referendum and thought we would share them here. This post will be updated.First: Facebook Live video of Superintendent Jeff Eakins' first town hall...
Updated: 27 minutes ago
Capin on Buckhorn and Ulele: ‘If it was his bust, he’d light it up.’

Capin on Buckhorn and Ulele: ‘If it was his bust, he’d light it up.’

Tampa City Council member Yvonne Yolie Capin blasted Mayor Bob Buckhorn for his administration's decision to remove a bronze bust of Ulele, a mythical Indian princess, from the city's Riverwalk this week.Capin, who has clashed with the mayor over the...
Updated: 29 minutes ago
73 Florida House Republicans send letter backing Judge Kavanaugh. Two from Tampa Bay didn’t sign.

73 Florida House Republicans send letter backing Judge Kavanaugh. Two from Tampa Bay didn’t sign.

All but two of the 75 Republicans in the Florida House have signed a letter calling for the U.S. Senate to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, calling his life and career "a model of civic virtue."The letter, originated by House Speake...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Clay may combat Florida’s Red Tide, but opposition ended experiments here 15 years ago

Clay may combat Florida’s Red Tide, but opposition ended experiments here 15 years ago

With Red Tide creeping up the Southwest Florida coast and into the Panhandle, Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday announced an international research partnership to determine if the toxic algae bloom can be quelled by clay.The effort is bringing together Woo...
Updated: 1 hour ago

Photos: From academics to flute playing to varsity football, this eighth grade girl does it all

Helmet on, it’s hard to single out Michael as the only girl on the Seven Springs football roster, and the third one in the school’s history. Not that it matters to her teammates.Off the field, she is a flute player in the school band. On ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
When is a seat not a seat? Restaurant takes beach town to court for answers

When is a seat not a seat? Restaurant takes beach town to court for answers

NORTH REDINGTON BEACH — A local restaurant owner just filed his fourth active lawsuit against this small beach town in a years-long legal battle over allowable number of seats and signage.Town officials say all they want is for the Sweet Sage ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Pinellas commission candidate Amy Kedron loses support from council member and commissioner

Pinellas commission candidate Amy Kedron loses support from council member and commissioner

Pinellas County Commission candidate Amy Kedron has lost a key endorsement from one of the few elected officials who publicly supported her campaign.St. Petersburg City Council member Gina Driscoll said she pulled her endorsement after Kedron told th...
Updated: 1 hour ago
The Latest: Ford prefers to testify next Thursday, aide says

The Latest: Ford prefers to testify next Thursday, aide says

A Senate aide says Christine Blasey Ford's lawyer told the Judiciary Committee she prefers to testify next Thursday and doesn't want Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the room
Updated: 1 hour ago