Vostok 2018 will see the Russian military practice massive airstrikes and measures against cruise missiles.
"The maneuvers are not directed against other countries and are in line with our military doctrine, which is defensive in character," Valery Gerasimov, the chief of Russia's general staff, told a briefing for foreign military attaches in Moscow, Interfax said, according to Reuters.
Despite assurances, the exercises come at a tense time for Russia's relations with the rest of the world, particularly in light of allegations of meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, claims Moscow was responsible for a nerve agent attack in the U.K., and its controversial military role in Syria.
Previous military exercises by Russia carried out on its western borders have riled its neighbors but this year, the exercises will be concentrated in the central, Siberian and eastern regions ('Vostok' means 'East' in Russian), towards its China border. A small number of Chinese troops are said to be participating in the exercises too.
Chief of Staff Gerasimov said that the "the main purpose of Vostok 2018 is to test the level of combat preparedness of troops." He added, however, that the "opposing" states in the exercises will be purely hypothetical.
Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu gave more details about Vostok 2018 on Tuesday, saying exercises would be held across nine testing grounds, including four Aerospace Force and Air Defense grounds, and three seas: the Sea of Japan, Bering Sea and Okhotsk Sea, news agency TASS reported.
Participating forces are already practicing ahead of the exercises, he said. "Aircraft have been flying maximum range sorties with refueling in flight and practicing landings at tactical airfields. Naval ships have been performing combat maneuvering and firing practices."