One of the biggest military exercises involving navy warships, fighters and ground troops of Russia and india has concluded in the Russian Far East at Vladivostok. The sheer size and scope of the exercise show a desire by both nations to keep their strategic ties alive. The exercise took place from October 17-29 and has alarmed China who has realised that their close ties with Russia cannot be taken for granted. The exercise took place in the waters which China considers its backyard as reported by The Indian Defense Review.

India - Russia cooperation

In 1970, the shrewd Indian premier Indira Gandhi signed a 20-year military cooperation agreement with Russia. It guaranteed Soviet help during the war for the liberation of Bangladesh. Much water has flown down the river since then. The pact with Russia was not renewed in 1990 as India moved closer to America and Russia went into a partnership with China.

Both countries have realised there is a confluence of interests between them and hence have held this war drill. Russia is wary of the growing power of China and it's dream to dominate the world. Similarly, India is also adverse to US overtures to Pakistan and supply of billions of dollars of military aid. Both nations Russia and India have decided this would be in their interests to rekindle the old relationship.

The exercise

The Indian war team was led by Rear Admiral Bose and he was feted by the Russians with a guard of honour. The Indian navy brought in frigates and the IAF used the latest Sukhoi fighter-bombers. The Army contingent brought in T-90 and 72 tanks along with infantry units. The Russians also matched the Indian strength and the exercise was conducted in the Pacific Ocean and the hinterland of East Siberia.

It was a live exercise and smoke from the gunfire during the exercise filled the sky. Reports of the exercise are carried by Sputnik, Russian news channel.

The exercise has showcased Indian military power. It also gave a friendless Russia a much-needed boost, as well as served a warning to China. The Indian troops and naval flotilla have now headed for home.

They have however made a point to China about Russia - India military cooperation. The joint exercise just a few miles from the Chinese coast is certainly not to the liking of China.


China is the world's second-largest economy and in another decade will overtake the US. With a massive population of 1.3 billion, therefore it is crystal clear that China will try and dominate the world. They could also threaten Russian interests as Russian East is sparsely populated. So in this context, Russia and India will like to rebuild bridges to counter China.