July 16 - Russian President Vladimir Putin reviews the largest military drills to be held in Russia since Soviet times from Sakhalin Island in the country's far east. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Russia's Far East -- reviewing the largest military drills to be held in Russia since the Soviet era. Media reports say the drills began Friday. They involve 160,000 troops, 5,000 tanks, and 130 combat aircraft. Russia's Defense Ministry channels billions of tax dollars every year through its defense industry, the world's second largest arms exporter. The drills, send a clear signal of military might to Japan, with whom Russia has a dispute over a collection of Pacific Islands. It also serves as a reminder to China, Russia's populous neighbor, with whom it shares an extensive border.