TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Vostok 2022 military exercises involving joint troop exercises between Russia and China began on Thursday (Sept. 1).
It was previously announced that 50,000 troops will participate in the exercises, but analysts expect that number will be much lower. The joint drills in Russia's Primorye region will utilize around 5,000 pieces of military equipment including 140 military aircraft, according to news sources.
This represents a much smaller contingent compared to the previous Vostok exercises in 2018, which saw a total of 300,000 troops and over 36,000 pieces of military equipment, including over 1,000 warplanes. With Russia’s ongoing military campaign in Ukraine, it is unable to muster significant numbers to participate in the Vostok 2022 exercises.
The Moscow Times reported that approximately 6,000 troops allied to the China-led Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) or the Moscow-led Collective Treaty Security Organization (CTSO) will also participate. Troops from China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces will comprise the bulk of that number.
At the opening ceremony on Wednesday (Aug. 31), Russia’s Deputy Defense Minister Yunus-Bek Yevkurov stated that a total of 14 nations had sent troops to participate in the operations. India has reportedly sent a contingent of 75 soldiers, according to Bloomberg.
The exercises, taking place around Vladivostock and the Sea of Japan, began on the same day that the Ulchi Freedom Shield military drills between South Korea and the U.S were concluded on the Korean Peninsula. The Vostock 2022 exercises are expected to finish on Sept. 7.