FACTBOX. On August 13-27, 2022, the 8th International Army Games (IAG-2022) will be held at the military training grounds in twelve countries: Russia, Azerbaijan, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Iran, Kazakhstan, China, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. The IAG is a series of field combat training competitions for military personnel from Russa and dozens of other countries.
The Russian Defense Ministry is the Games’ organizer. During the Army Games, soldiers and officers representing different arms and services demonstrate their skills and abilities. Russia is represented by units that emerged the winners in the latest domestic national army contests that put to test their professional skills. As a rule, the equipment for the Games is provided by the host country, where a particular context is held. For example, most of the participants in the tank biathlon use Russian tanks, while Russian military contestants in China performed in a number of competitions using Chinese equipment. At the same time, China traditionally participates in competitions in Russia and other countries with its own equipment.
More than 260 teams from 35 countries will join the 2022 Games. The two newcomers are Bolivia and Rwanda.
In 2013, Russia hosted international competitions for tank crews called Tank Biathlon and for air pilots Aviadarts. Both aroused great interest in Russia and abroad. After their success, the Russian Defense Ministry decided to arrange a kind of army Olympics, aimed at bolstering the combat capability of the Russian army and strengthening international military cooperation. For the first time, the Games were held on August 1-15, 2015 at eleven military training grounds in Russia, with 56 teams from 17 countries taking part: Azerbaijan, Angola, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Serbia and Tajikistan. Iran, Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Turkmenistan and Brazil attended the IAG as observers. The program included 14 competitions on land, in the air and at sea. In the overall medal standings, Russia placed first (31 gold medals), China second (three golds), and Belarus, third (one gold).
Since then, the International Army Games have been held annually, and since 2016, not only in Russia, but also at training sites in other countries. In the team standings Russian contestants excelled on all occasions. China won second place five times, and Belarus and Kazakhstan, one time each. The program and list of competitions have changed several times.
The International Army Games-2021 were held on August 22-September 4 in eleven countries (Russia, Algeria, Armenia, Belarus, Vietnam, Iran, Qatar, Kazakhstan, China, Serbia, Uzbekistan). More than 5,000 military personnel (277 teams from 42 countries) took part in 34 competitions (which is the Games’ record). The Russian team was first with 34 medals (including 18 golds). China placed second (4 golds), and Uzbekistan, third (4 golds).
In 2022, the International Army Games program consists of 34 competitions, including the Tank Biathlon - a competition for tank crews. Its stages: individual race, sprint, pursuit and relay race were borrowed from ordinary biathlon. Since 2013, it has been held annually at the Alabino training ground near Moscow. Twenty-one countries will take part in the competition this time: Russia, Abkhazia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Venezuela, Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Laos, Mali, Mongolia, Myanmar, Syria, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and South Ossetia (the list of participating countries was taken from the official website of the Games as of August 12). Most competing crews use T-72B3 tanks provided by the organizers.