MOSCOW, July 29. /TASS/. This year’s Army Games will be hosted by five states instead of the 11 initially planned due to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the head of the Russian Armed Forces’ main combat training department, Col. Gen. Ivan Buvaltsev, said.
"this year, we planned to hold 30 competitions on the territory of 11 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Iran, India, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia, Russia, Uzbekistan and Sri Lanka). As certain the co-organizers were unable to hold some competitions on their territory due to the novel coronavirus infection, the geography of the games has shrunk, regretfully," Buvaltsev said in an interview published by the Krasnaya Zvezda newspaper on Wednesday.
According to the official, six competitions will be held on the territory of four foreign countries: Warrior of Peace in Armenia, Sea Cup - in Azerbaijan, Polar Star and Sniper Frontier - in Belarus, Military Medical Relay Race and Road Patrol - in Uzbekistan.
The remaining 24 competitions will be held on the territory of Russia.
Buvaltsev said that thanks to anti-coronavirus measures, the estimated risk for participants will be comparable to that during the Victory Day Parade in Moscow on June 24.
"A complex security plan envisages unprecedented measures, which allow us to state that participating in the games is no more dangerous that participation in the parade," the official said, adding that the Victory Day parade "did not affect the epidemiological situation in the armed forces."
"The importance of observing sanitary and anti-epidemic measures and requirements is obvious. It’s clear for everyone that strict medical requirements of quarantine and [coronavirus] testing of participants will be in place. All preparations for competitions will take place in the open air. The teams will be accommodated away from populated areas," Buvaltsev added.
The Victory Day Parade on the Red Square usually takes place on May 9, when Russia marks Victory Day. This year, Russian President Vladimir Putin postponed it amid the coronavirus pandemic. On May 26, President Putin announced that the anticipated event would be held on June 24, the day in 1945 when the historic parade of victors took place.
The International Army Games will be held between August 23 and September 5.