The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced the arrival of its troops in the Eastern Military District of Russia to take part in Exercise Vostok-2022.    

The Indian Army contingent from 7/8 Gorkha Rifles will take part in the seven-day multilateral strategic and command exercise in the Russian district that includes part of Siberia.

The joint military drill will also see the participation of troops from China, Belarus, Mongolia, and Tajikistan.   

Vostok-2022 seeks to enhance interaction and coordination among participating contingents and observers.

During the exercise, soldiers will engage in joint manoeuvres including combined field training exercises and combat discussions, as well as firepower drills.

In a statement, the MoD said: “The Indian Army contingent will look forward to sharing practical aspects and put into practice the validated drills, procedures, and practice amalgamation of new technology through discussions and tactical exercises.”

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Despite suffering heavy losses of troops and equipment in the ongoing Ukraine invasion, Russia announced its plans in July this year to host the Vostok (East) exercise with adequate personnel and weapons.  

The latest announcement regarding the week-long exercise comes close after the US expressed concerns over Indian troops joining Russians for the drills.

“The United States has concerns about any country exercising with Russia while Russia wages a unprovoked, brutal war against Ukraine,” reported Reuters, citing a recent statement by White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.

“But, of course, every participating country will make its own decisions,” Pierre added.

As many as 300,000 troops reportedly took part in the previous Exercise Vostok that took place in 2018. Troops from the Chinese army also debuted in the drills.