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Report by the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation/ First Deputy Minister of Defence of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov, during the briefing on the Vostok 2018 maneuvers

In the National Centre for State Defence Control of the Russian Federation, First Deputy Defence Minister, Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov held briefing for military attachés and media representatives on the  maneuvers Vostok-2018.

Maneuvers Vostok-2018  begin on September 11. This is a planned event that takes place within the preparation of the Armed Forces and completes the annual cycle of combat training of the troops.

General of the Army Valery Gerasimov reminded that the previous strategic exercises were conducted in the territories of the Central  (in 2015), South (in 2016) and Western (in 2017) Military Districts - "Zapad-2017".

According to the Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, along with the planned arrangements for the preparation of troops, surprise combat readiness inspections are carried out.

Analyzing the results of the first inspections, conclusions were drawn and measures were taken to remedy the situation. Since then, the training of troops has undergone significant changes. Serious adjustments were made to the methods of training, programs and courses of combat training.

Valery Gerasimov noted that today, commanders and staffs in any military district and the army can organize and perform regrouping over long distances and accomplishing tasks in an unfamiliar terrain.

The solution of these tasks in 2013-2014 allowed in September 2015 to deploy the Russian grouping of troops in the Syrian Arab Republic in a short time. As a result, for the first time in the modern history of Russia, the Armed Forces began to be used in a remote theater of military operations.

According to him, batalion-based tactical groups are being created on the basis of units manned by contract servicemen. They are provided with everything necessary for conducting combat operations, including surveillance, navigation and closed communications.

In his estimation, the events held since 2013 gave their results. Individual combat training indicators have improved significantly.

Increasing the level of training of troops contributed to the arrival of new modern technology. Compared with 2012, the availability of modern weapons and military equipment increased by 3.5 times from 16 to 60 percent.

Turning to the maneuvers Vostok-2018 General of the  Army Valery Gerasimov said that they were preceded by the entire cycle of preparatory measures - surprise inspections and command-staff exercises. In the middle of August, a surprise check of the Northern Fleet was carried out, and at the end of the month of the Central and Eastern Military Districts.

In addition, 16 exercises were conducted on types of comprehensive support, including intelligence, electronic warfare, moral and psychological, logistical support, and others.

According to him, the main goal of the maneuvers Vostok-2018 is to check the real level of combat training, which can be assessed only on the exercises of the appropriate scale. These maneuvers, conducted on a bilateral basis, are the highest form of inspection of combat skills, field, air and naval training of military districts.

The event attracted the troops of the Eastern and Central Military Districts, the Northern Fleet and the Airborne Forces, as well as part of the long-range, military-transport and operational-tactical aviation of the Aerospace Forces. In total, 297,000 servicemen will take part in maneuvers, more than 1,000 aircraft, helicopters and unmanned aerial vehicles, up to 36,000 tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles, up to 80 ships and support vessels will be involved.

They will also be attended by military contingents of the People's Liberation Army of China and the armed forces of Mongolia, which will act on a common plan together with Russian servicemen. Currently, the troops of these states are completing the coordination and joint training at the Tsugol training ground.

According to the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces, the main features of the maneuvers are the bilateral format of their conduct. The actions of formations and military units on unfamiliar landfills were preceded by their transfer in a combined way over distances of up to 7,000 km and the implementation of an inter-fleet transition to a range of up to 4,000 miles.

As a result of the transfer of troops according to the plan of the exercise, two opposing groups have been established at the present time - on the one hand the Central Military District and the Northern Fleet, on the other - the Eastern Military District with the Pacific Fleet.

The active phase of Vostok-2018 will be held from 11 to 17 September in two stages. The main part will be deployed at five combined-arms training grounds, four air and air defence training grounds, in the waters of the Sea of Okhotsk and the Bering Sea, Avacha and Kronotsky Gulfs.

According to him, at the first stage, which will last for two days, the staffs will finish planning, training troops for combat operations, organizing interaction and comprehensive support.

In the second stage, lasting five days, the troops will perform practical actions in accordance with taken decisions.

The most dynamic part of the exercise are planned to be played at the Tsugol training ground, where the three associations of the Eastern Military District, together with the formations of the People's Liberation Army of China and the Mongolian Armed Forces, will confront the two armies of the Central Military District.

During the tactical episodes, a wide application of robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles,  the action of a mobile brigade are planned.

The troops will perform the tasks of maneuvering defence, inflicting damage on the enemy with artillery units and strikes by army aviation.

In the joint operations of the troops at the Tsugol training ground, up to 25,000 Russian servicemen will take part, more than 7,000 weapons, military and special equipment, and about 250 aircraft will be involved.

Maneuvers are not related against other countries and correspond to the military doctrine of the Russian Federation, which is defencive in nature.

We invite all military attaches to take part in the active phase of maneuvers as observers.

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