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Russian Forces host China, India and 20 other militaries for Int. Army Games

YB WEB DESK. Dated: 7/24/2017 8:39:46 PM

Troops from 22 different countries have arrived in Russia for what is now becoming an Olympic-style, annual spectacle in military posturing—Russia’s International Army Games.

Around 1,200 troops from China, India, Iran and a handful of nations either allied to Russia or neutral are expected to take part, Russia’s Ministry of Defense announced on Monday. Russia is once again expected to win, as it has for the past two years.

The 14-day event, kicking off on Friday is the third annual instalment of the games, involving a series of military competitions turned into a spectator sport. The tank biathlon—an obstacle course race with a shooting accuracy round—is one of the most popular disciplines at the games. Others include the "Aviadarts," flight tricks competition and the off-road military truck race, called the "Military Rally."

Russia has hosted the previous instalments of the games and dominated the so-called medals league table, though this year Azerbaijan, Belarus, China and Kazakhstan will also share hosting duties across 22 event sites for 28 competition events.

Not all participants take part in all disciplines and few provide their own equipment. For the sake of fair competition, troops often have to use the same equipment within the same event so as in the case of the "Marine Landing" round, troops from Venezuela, Iran, China and Russia will all compete using different vessels from Russia’s Pacific Fleet.

The games are not only an opportunity for Russia’s troops to show off some of their capabilities on state television, they also allow participant militaries to test one another’s equipment. In preparation for the “Safe Environment” radio and biochemical recon event, Russian troops have already tested China’s FZC02B system for the first time, the Russian Defense Ministry also announced Monday.

Russian paratroopers also conducted jumps from Chinese Changhe Z-8KA helicopters alongside Iranian, Kazakh, Moroccan and United Arab Emirates troops over Chinese territory, above the Yin mountains.

Meanwhile, as part of preparation for the diving event "Depth," Russia hosted Venezuelan, Iranian and United Arab Emirates troops in the waters off the coast of Sevastopol—one of the main ports on the Crimean peninsula which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014.

In total Russia is sending 67 items of military kit overseas for the games for the competitions and has already flown 36 aircraft above China in preparation for the events.


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