“The Army Games” Boosted Russia’s Image and Brought New Contracts

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"The Army Games" Boosted Russia's Image and Brought New Contracts

Russia strengthens the reputation of the Russian Armed Forces and develop economic relations in the military sphere.

This article originally appeared at Politrussia, translated from Russian by Olga Seletskaia

First International Army Games are being held in Russia in August 1-15. More than 2,000 troops from 17 countries are taking part in the Games, held at 10 test sites for different types of troops to determine the strongest ones in 14 military disciplines … The scope is impressive, isn’t it?

The first deputy head of the Defense Ministry Gen. Arkady Bakhin, believes that the list of participants will expand next year.

How are these Games different from similar activities regularly held in other countries?

Firstly, the scale. Typically, military games are held in one quite specialized area of ​​military affairs, for example, a special forces competition. In the current Games different kinds of military troops are engaged in the various contests which allows to determine the level of armies’ military training in general. For example, I have never heard before of this kind of event:

“Pontoon units from Belarus, Kazakhstan, China, Russia, Serbia will compete on the Oka river in the Vladimir region. They will build crossings over antitank ditches, ferries and river crossings. In the Nizhny Novgorod region engineer-sapper troops of the same countries will establish minefields, will destroy anti-personnel mines with the use of trawls, and they will disassemble dangerous blockages with the use of special equipment.”

It is not military parade shows, but it is an demonstration of the ability to solve the combat mission in conditions close to reality. By the way, the places of regular military training in Russia are being used for the Games; no new facilities were built specially for them.

Of course, I would like to mention the success of our performances, but it makes no sense to turn the article in the sports report on the prizes, and the Games are not over yet.

However, I should note that Russian pilots won gold in all the categories of aircraft competitions flying  “Su-24M”, “Su-25”, “Su-27”, “Su-30cm” , “Su 34”, “MiG-29 SMT”, “IL-76” and “Tu-22M3” and helicopters “Ka-52”, “Mi-35”, “Mi-8”. That proves the benefits of using a wide range of equipment rather than some special kinds of the machines designated “for the competition.” There were ten nominations: attack aircraft, fighter aircraft, frontline bombers, army aviation transport and attack helicopters, army aviation combat helicopters, long-range aviation, military transport aircraft, aerobatic team, single aerobatic team, and a new to this year nomination of the best specialist of engineering and aviation groups. That shows the complexity of the event.

Other types of troops also had to carry out a variety of tasks. For example, a first-prize winner in the international army contest “Cup of the Caspian Sea – 2015” – the crew of a small missile ship of the Russia Navy’s Caspian fleet “Svijazhsk” – competed in the artillery firing at sea targets, firing at air targets and shooting at a floating mine. In the second stage of the competition the same crew competed in the meeting the requirements on maritime skills of highest complexity.

Now let’s look at the games from the other angle.

The “Washington Post” wrote: “The Army games was another way to strengthen the image of the modernized Russian army after the Crimea joining Russian and the deterioration of relations with the West”. This is the second important aspect of the Games. The reporter can attempt to diminish Russian participants: “it is not surprising that Russia, which invented most of the types of competitions for Army Games, ranked first in the” Military Olympics’ “. However, the goal of a gunner is to hit the target; it is difficult  to “invent a more advantageous for Russians competition” in this kind of activity.

Strengthening the reputation and increase the attractiveness of the army is very important. The Games are not finished yet, but some of the audience already want to join the Military Forces. Demonstrating the technology and military training helps: we must not forget that horror image of the army shaped in the Eltsin Russia when it was believed that the Army was being deliberately destroyed and it was psychologically depressing and stressful to be a conscript.

Now the situation in the army and attitude to military service has completely changed. In view of the increasing tension in the world created by the United States a special military recruiting campaign is not required in Russia: the people understand the importance of a strong army capable to fight back up to the aggressor’s capital city.

The third aspect – sales. Russia wants and has the ability to supply its weapons (of high quality and at a relatively low cost), and this kind of competition is the best advertising compaign, as military equipment can be seen in action. Ambassador of Nicaragua to Russia Juan Ernesto Vasquez Araya stressed that during the competition Latin American tank crews could test the equipment at the site:

“So we can get acquainted with modern technology, to try it out in the field, in real situations, not just on a show. This, of course, has a great influence on the decision-making to buy Russian military equipment, “and, as a result,” We hope that soon our army will have the T-72. I think we can talk about buying them. “

These words came as a result of the fact that the team of Nicaragua had the opportunity to use the T-72 for the tank biathlon competition, whereas the Nicaragua Republic army is still armed with the old T-55. The difference is significant, when a potential buyer has a “hands-on” experience.

Generally speaking we are not aggressors, as some advocates of democracy say, we are playing peacefully biathlon with the guests, and we are always happy to sell sports equipment.

But seriously, our competitors at the Games are our allies in the fight against the financial globalism. Yes, Russia is preventing a new world war, but it is much more effective to do it together. And participation in the military games, as well as in the Victory Day parade, shows who really is our friend and ally. Teams from 16 countries – Angola, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Venezuela, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, China, Kuwait, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Serbia and Tajikistan – are taking part in the Games. Observers from of Iran, Vietnam, the Republic of Korea, Myanmar, Turkmenistan and Brazil attend the Games. These are the countries where the lion’s share of the world’s population resides and where the various resources of the world are!

At the Victory Parade Russia demonstrated its new military machines which were so much liked by those countries who attended the parade in Moscow, and so much disliked by those who did not come to the parade. Army Games is a demonstration of the technology in action, not the latest technology, but the basic one. Of course, it is just a competition, but …

As an example – the Venezuelan Brigadier General Frederick Hames Solis Martinez recalled that the last time his team participated only in a tank biathlon, but now they are not only performing in several competitions, but they are also visiting a military tournament as international observers:

“In addition to the lessons learned and preparedness, these events will strengthen the brotherhood of experts from different countries. After the competition, we hope to become better as the military and as common people. “

Other events are important for the prestige of Russian weapons. For example, in the same month, at the military exercises Indradanush («Rainbow”), Indian pilots on the Russian Su-30 outplayed the United Kingdom Air Force pilots flying Eurofighter Typhoon. As a result, India Air Force which already has Su-30MKI,  plans to buy a few dozen more.

The Games do not only promote weapons, but they also give a “feeling of comradeship” with the military of those countries which may have to fight together against the common enemy, defending our independence.

P.S. It is notable that  some countries withdraw themselves from such competitions. ” Sometimes they decline the invitation to participate, sometimes they do it in a more inventive way, as it was with US special forces at the international competitions in Kazakhstan in July of this year: on the first day the Americans refused to participate in competitions, and then explained with a straight face that “and they were not going to give their the best “. They said, they just arrived as tourists. This is not Hollywood!

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