Putin Attends Joint Military Exercises With China


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Micaela Burrow Investigative Reporter, Defense
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Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to the country’s far eastern region to observe the ongoing Vostok war games and meet with foreign leaders Tuesday, after declaring a Russia-oriented foreign policy doctrine.

Putin arrived at the training range for the active phase of the exercises, intended to shine a spotlight on Russia’s growing cooperation with China and demonstrate military might amid widespread criticism in the West for its operation in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported. The exercises run through Sept. 7 and engage troop contingents from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, including China and India, and a number of former Soviet states, according to the Kremlin.

“The concept of the Vostok-2022 strategic command post exercise stipulates various operations … in the interests of maintaining the security of the Russian Federation in the Eastern Military District’s zone of responsibility,” the Kremlin said in a statement Tuesday.

“Currently, the president has already arrived at the Sergeyevsky proving ground where the final stage of the Vostok 2022 drills [is being held],” a Kremlin official told state-run TASS. Putin also held a closed-door meeting with Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and General Staff head Valery Gerasimov.

The operations mark the first time China has deployed forces from three military branches to participate in a single series of drills with Russia, the AP reported. In total, the exercises involve 50,000 personnel and roughly 5,000 additional weapons and military equipment, including 140 aircraft and 60 ships, according to the Kremlin.

Part of the exercises involved joint maneuvers from the Russian and Chinese navies in the South China Sea to protect ground forces and seaborne communications equipment, the AP reported.

China has so far refrained from explicitly providing rhetorical or material support to Russia’s war in Ukraine, but it has also resisted international pressure to criticize the Kremlin’s actions. (RELATED: Russia Plans On Buying Millions Of Artillery Shells From North Korea: REPORT)

Russia's Marshal Shaposhnikov anti-submarine destroyer fires during the 'Vostok-2022' military exercises at the Peter the Great Gulf of the Sea of Japan outside the city of Vladivostok on September 5, 2022.

Russia’s Marshal Shaposhnikov anti-submarine destroyer fires during the ‘Vostok-2022’ military exercises at the Peter the Great Gulf of the Sea of Japan outside the city of Vladivostok on September 5, 2022. (Photo by KIRILL KUDRYAVTSEV/AFP via Getty Images)

Following the exercises, Putin will speak Wednesday at the 7th Eastern Economic Forum, themed “On the Path To A Multipolar World” and attended by leaders from Myanmar, Armenia, Mongolia and China, and virtually by India’s Nahrendra Modi and the Malaysian prime minister. Putin established the forum in 2015 to strengthen Russia’s economic ties amid a broader push to cement Russia’s influence in the eastern hemisphere.

Putin approved a foreign policy doctrine centered around the concept of a “Russian World” Monday, according to Reuters. The 31-page document, labeled a “humanitarian policy,” stipulates that Russia should “protect, safeguard and advance the traditions and ideals of the Russian World,” including in part Russian-speaking people groups abroad who share a cultural heritage.”

The document states Russia should take the lead in the “creating of a multipolar world,” according to Reuters. It provides a theoretical basis for increased cooperation with former Soviet states, China, India and countries throughout the Middle East and global south.

The Russian and Chinese foreign ministries did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s requests for comment.

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