The Russian and Chinese military started the active part of the joint Zapad/Interaction-2021 military exercises on Wednesday.
According to the Russian Defense Ministry, the drill, held in China’s northwestern Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, engages over 10,000 personnel, multiple types of aircraft, artillery, and armored equipment.
The purpose of the drill is to test joint reconnaissance, early warning, electronic information attack, and joint strike capabilities, the ministry said.
A total of more than 4,800 exercises and training events are planned for this year to maintain the combat capability and combat readiness of the Russian army and navy, it added.
Some of them already took place, some will take place later this year, including two major drills, Zapad-2021 with Belarus and Kazakhstan, and the International Army Games, involving the military of more than 40 countries.
Jointly with Belarus and Kazakhstan, the Zapad-2021 military exercise will take place on Sept. 10-16 in Belarus and Russia with the participation of up to 12,800 military personnel -- mostly Belarusian but also 2,500 Russian and 50 Kazakh servicemen.
Zapad-2021 will focus on countering signal and electronic intelligence with an accent for detection and suppression of communication systems of a conditional enemy, as well as protection from possible strikes of self-made unmanned aerial vehicles.
The drill will be held on five Belarusian and two Russian training grounds and supported by Russia's Baltic Fleet.
Russia to host International Army Games
On Aug. 22-Sept. 4, Russia, along with 11 other countries, will host the International Army Games 2021 -- an international military contest where the servicemen of over 40 countries will compete for the championship in different kinds of military skills.
Russia will host most of the events -- 16 rounds of the Army Games will take place on the Russian training grounds, while Belarus, China, and Iran will hold three rounds each.
Vietnam, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Mongolia will provide venues for two rounds each, whereas Algeria, Armenia, Serbia, and Qatar will hold one each.
Burkina Faso, Indonesia, Peru, and Saudi Arabia will take part in the Games for the first time.