Russia concludes its week-long, large-scale, strategic military exercises in the Eastern Military District today.
The military operation, dubbed “Vostik 2014”, is the largest of its kind since the Soviet era. There were a staggering 155,000 troops; 4,000 armored vehicles; 632 aircraft and 84 naval vessels. Russian forces were trained in repelling a massive airstrike, combating an aircraft carrier, defending against a seaborne landing and many other military activities on an immense scale. Thirty countries closely monitored the events.
The maneuvers took place on the island of Sakhalin, the Kamchatka Peninsula, Chukotka, and the southern part of the Primorsky Territory.
Troops were moved to the highest state of combat readiness as surprise drills began. “As part of a surprise check of the Eastern Military District troops’ combat readiness, military formations and units located in the Eastern region of the Russian Federation have completed the implementation of measures to enter the highest degree of combat readiness,” the ministry wrote in a statement.
The Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu, said that the recent large-scale military exercise in Russia’s Far East, Vostok-2014, demonstrated that the degree of combat preparedness in Russian troops has been raised.
Addressing the servicemen who distinguished themselves in battle maneuvers in Cape Skalistii, Shoigu said: “You have actually demonstrated great skill, professionalism and the ability to ensure the military security of the Russian Federation in the eastern region.”
RT.com reported the deaths of three soldiers who tried to rescue colleagues from a sinking vehicle.
A group of troops were conducting a landing on a wild shore, when a large wave swept an armored vehicle containing 10 servicemen off of a landing craft. Seven men inside managed to escape the sinking vehicle, but two servicemen reportedly tried to save the driver trapped inside and all three men died.
The incident is being investigated and the Defense Ministry has posthumously nominated the three soldiers for state awards.