Russian warships hold drills in Bering Sea in huge military exercise

Russian warships held drills in the Bering Sea, which separates Russia from Alaska, as part of Moscow's biggest military manoeuvre since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Russia's Ministry of Defence also airs footage of paratroopers, missile launches

Russian President Vladimir Putin, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe watch the military parade during Vostok-2018 (East-2018) war games at Tsugol military training ground in Zabaikalsky region, Russia, September 13, 2018. (Reuters)

Russian warships held drills in the Bering Sea, which separates Russia from Alaska, as part of Moscow's biggest military manoeuvre since the fall of the Soviet Union, footage aired by the country's Ministry of Defence showed on Friday.

The Vostok-2018 (East-2018) drills, which run until Sept. 17, are taking place in Siberia and in waters off Russia's eastern coast, involving 300,000 troops, over 1,000 military aircraft and two naval fleets.

The drills come at a time of heightened tension between the West and Russia, and NATO has said it will monitor the exercise closely, as will the United States which has a strong military presence in the Asia-Pacific region.

President Vladimir Putin inspected the war games on Thursday, vowing in a speech to soldiers to strengthen the Russian army and supply it with new generation weapons and equipment.

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.

Footage from Russia's Ministry of Defence of the drill in the Bering Sea

Russia's Ministry of Defence aired footage on Friday of the Northern Fleet's Vice-Admiral Kulakov destroyer and the Alexander Obrakovsky landing ship taking part in a mock-up rescue operation in the Bering Sea.

Other footage showed scores of paratroopers leaping from a plane and descending from helicopters by ropes in the eastern Siberian territory of Zabaikalsk.

The ministry also broadcast clips of missiles being launched from its S-300 long-range surface-to-air missile system and its Buk medium-range missile system.

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