Russia kicks off biggest war games in decades ahead of a meeting between Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping

  • Video report by ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar

Russia’s largest war games in recent history have kicked off in the Far East.

The Defence Ministry said the largest military drills since the end of the Cold War will involve about 36,000 tanks and 300,000 troops at sea and on the ground.

China is sending 3,200 troops to take part in the Vostok 2018 exercises later this week.

Tanks roll during the exercises in the Chita region Credit: Russian Defence Ministry Press Service/AP

The war games are being held a year after Russia staged major drills in the country’s west, unnerving neighbouring former Soviet republics.

Nato and European governments are eyeing the exercises closely, watching to see what they reveal about military co-operation between Russia and China, and their mounting military might.