Big toys for big boys: Russia shows off country’s top military hardware

The Russian military has wrapped up a 10-day long exercise in a large area of the Far East, bringing together all kinds of military forces. Russia's top brass say it was a test the army has passed successfully.

The Sergeevsky firing range near Ussuriysk – a small town in the Russian Far East – brought together all kinds of forces for the “Vostok-2010” maneuvers.

The exercises also involved a simulation of an airborne assault, supported by paratroopers and ground forces.

Earlier, in the Khabarovsk region, a spectacular drill mission targeting smaller militant groups was staged. It involved assignments for artillery and infantry, missile attacks, bombings of enemy positions by military jets and helicopters.

“The exercise definitely crowns the training. It is basically called an exercise because it aims at improving skills. I think everyone – each commander and soldier – has such an opportunity to get to know themselves, their own abilities and capabilities and to be able to use them in practice,” Aleksandr Postnikov, Russian Ground Forces Commander said.

Twenty thousand troops, 2,500 armored vehicles, 70 warplanes and 30 warships performing dozens of missions, including counter-terrorism and combat assignments – all of that could have been seen throughout Siberia, in the Vladivostok and Khabarovsk regions.

For the first time in years the exercise brought together the country’s navy, infantry, marines and air force. The drills also featured the heavy cruiser Pyotr Veliky of the Northern Fleet and the missile cruiser Moskva of the Black Sea Fleet.

Russian president Dmitry Medvedev visited the flagship Pyotr Veliky earlier this week to watch the exercise in Vladivostok and to meet the crew.

Vostok-2010 was a follow-up to similar maneuvers that took place in Belarus.

The official results of Vostok-2010 exercise are not available yet. It is possible that some of the data will remain classified, but the experience will definitely be used by Russian generals to optimize the performance of the country’s armed forces.