Russia Launches Largest War Games Since the Cold War

September 11, 2018


On the 17th memorial of Sept. 11th, Russia launches its largest military drills since The Cold War.

And invites China to play.

Why Now?

“The giant drill is clearly meant as a show of strength by Vladimir Putin and his military, a demonstration that – despite Western sanctions, including against the defence sector – the country remains defiant.”

Sarah Rainsford, BBC journalist in Moscow, who adds Russia views NATO as a threat as well.

What You Should Know:

  • Russia holds these military drills every year; last year’s was also historically large & in September (but not during 9/11).
  • This year: 300,000 Russians participating; 36,000 tanks.
  • Drills prepare for a massive conflict.
  • Some say Russia inflates the numbers, BUT military strength part of Pres. Putin’s agenda.


  • It’s not just the size of the military drill, but the fact China added more than 3,000 troops to Russia’s annual exercise.
  • Russian & Chinese leaders reportedly meeting during drills.
  • Takeaway: This is a significant show of cooperation vs. the United States as a global leader (what both sides refer to as a “unipolar world”).

The U.S. participates in smaller “war games” with NATO & with South Korea. By preparing to work with allies, we rehearse what would happen in a crisis. Some note Russia/China together could challenge U.S. military dominance.

by Jenna Lee,