President Vladimir Putin is resisting attempts by the US and its allies to isolate him over his invasion of Ukraine by organizing effective military drills with China and India.
The week-long Vostok-2022 war games, which begin on Thursday in Russia’s far east and include naval drills in the Sea of Japan, are expected to involve more than 50,000 soldiers and 5,000 pieces of military hardware, including more than 140 aircraft and 60 warships.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the former Soviet countries’ Collective Security Treaty Organization, which Russia leads, are represented in the routine drills.
The New Delhi government is sending a modest 75-strong military detachment to the army drills even as the US is courting India as a defense partner and pleading with it not to weaken UN sanctions on Russia for the crisis in Ukraine. They include Gurkha soldiers and the navy and air force officials, although India is not sending any military personnel to Russia.
India, which has previously participated in the drills, has refrained from taking a side in Russia’s conflict in Ukraine, partly because of its dependence on Moscow as its primary source of armaments in the face of ongoing border concerns with China and Pakistan. However, in a procedural last week at the UN Security Council that allowed Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy to address the body via video link. , the South Asian country cast its first vote against Russia on the subject.
Additionally, India has suspended plans to jointly develop helicopters and a different deal to purchase 30 fighter aircraft from Russia.
The drills, intended to improve military cooperation, are being participated in by China’s army, air force, and navy, according to the Beijing Defense Ministry. This year’s drills will be focused on potential threats, particularly from the US in the Pacific area, according to the Global Times, which the Chinese Communist Party endorses.
China has refrained from criticizing Russia for its six-month invasion of Ukraine and has opposed the sanctions imposed by the US and Europe. But because of the possibility of US secondary penalties, it has refrained from supporting Putin by giving Russia’s war effort technology and military equipment.
Vasily Kashin, a Russian military specialist at Moscow’s Higher School of Economics, said that China’s participation in the exercises “cannot be interpreted as assistance” for Russia in the conflict. It only demonstrates that military-to-military relationships are business as usual.
Along with the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Tajikistan, other nations, including Syria, Algeria, Mongolia, Laos, and Nicaragua, Vostok-2022 is also attended by Belarus, a close ally of Russia.