Russia’s annual Army Games is back once again, and it is bigger than ever. The games basically pit the armed forces of countries against one another in staged military exercises. This would be the fifth year of Russia’s annual Army Games.
A total of thirty countries are participating in the games this year, which are taking place outside of Russia for the first time. The locations include India, Iran, and China. This year’s Army Games will be featuring over 30 competitions that will include the famous tank biathlon, sniper competition, Aviadarts fighter, and helicopter games, bridge-laying exercise, and even a field kitchen exercise where the participants will have to bake bread. The games generally come up with realistic competitions where soldiers, sailor, and airmen are given grades based on their ability to complete tasks in a given timeframe.
The list of countries that participate in the Army Games has gradually increased over the course of the years. This year’s participants include Russia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, China, Iran, Cuba, Angola, Armenia, India, Azerbaijan, Venezuela, Syria, Zimbabwe, Tajikistan, Mongolia, and Uzbekistan. The US military has been extended an invitation to previous games, but it declined. Most of the participants are either conventional client states or regional allies of Russia, and many have non-democratic or dictatorial regimes.
A lot of the countries are already using Russian equipment because of being friends of Russia and thus have little issues with making use of the competition equipment. China, however, likes to send its own tanks and armored vehicles. The vehicles are also painted so that they stand out during the competition. There have been some accidents during the Army Games where tanks have skidded out of control and equipment has broken down.
Russian Ministry of Defense releases quite a bit of the footage from the games on YouTube. China’s Ministry of Defense has reported that the country’s teams have managed to win the ‘Master Gunsmith’ howitzer repair competition and the ‘Seaborne Assault’ marine landing exercise.