China sends troops to Russia as 50k soldiers take part in military exercise

Russia’s delayed and scaled-down Far East war games will kick off on Thursday, involving thousands of pieces of military hardware and more than 50,000 personnel, including members of the Chinese army, air force and navy.

Footage circulating on China’s main social media website, Weibo, showed mask-wearing members of the People’s Liberation Army Ground Force arriving in Russia by train last week. Rows of armored vehicles and trucks were also visible in the images, which confirmed Beijing’s participation in the Vostok—or “East”—exercise for the first time since 2018.

Moscow’s quadrennial multinational drills were meant to start on August 30, but the Russian defense ministry said Monday the “Vostok 2022 strategic command and staff exercise” would instead run from September 1 through 7. There was no explanation for the delay, while the ministry previously said the Kremlin’s ongoing “special military operation” in Ukraine wouldn’t affect the availability of Russian troops for the event.