MOSCOW, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) -- Russia will conduct "Vostok-2018" or "East-2018" drills, the largest military exercises since 1981, next month, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said Tuesday.
To be held from Sept. 11-15, Vostok-2018 will involve nearly 500,000 troops, about 36,000 military vehicles, and more than 1,000 aircraft from Russia's Eastern and Central military districts, and the Northern Fleet, Shoigu told reporters.
The drills were preceded by a number of preparatory exercises and a large-scale inspection from Aug. 20-25.
Russia conducted more than 8,000 combat training activities last year, including the "Zapad-2017" joint exercises with Belarus in September, involving around 12,700 soldiers.
Russia has been showcasing its military strength as its relations with the United States and other Western countries continue to worsen over Western accusations that Russia was behind the poisoning of a former spy in Britain and ensuing sanctions.
Russia denies the accusations.