Rapid Fire July 16, 2013: Russia Tests Its Siberian Readiness, Neighbors’ Nerves
- Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a massive surprise exercise last Friday in the Eastern Military District, which he is now overseeing himself. With 160,000 men, 5,000 tanks and armored vehicles, 130 aircraft, and 70 warships, nothing of this scale had been seen since the end of the USSR. The maneuvers are seen as a way to signal readiness to China. Japan and South Korea scrambled jets to keep track of Russia’s strategic bombers.