Colonel Oleg Youshkov (left) in the interview with reporters from the People's Army Newspaper

Hosted by the Russian Ministry of Defense for the first time in 2015, the Army Games has greatly contributed to strengthening cooperation among participating militaries. It has become a prestigious international event for troops to share experiences with their peers and demonstrate their competence, skills, and stance. “The games has improved its prestige and attraction as more and more countries send their troops to compete in the event,” affirmed Colonel Oleg Youshkov.

According to him, in spite of being seriously affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Army Games this year attracts the participation of more than 150 teams from 30 countries. Competitions will take place in Russia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, and Belarus.

In the context of the rapid spread and danger of the COVID-19, the Russian Ministry of Defense considers ensuring safety for participants its top priority. Particularly, the country requested participating troops to perform 14-day quarantine and test for SARS-CoV-2 three days before entering Russia. As soon as arriving at the airport, participating troops have to submit certificates recognizing that they have completed the quarantine and test negative for SARS-CoV-2.

Before joining competition events, troops to the Army Games 2020 are requested to stay in designated hotels for three days and retested for the COVID-19 using the RT- PCR method by the host country. During the games, any confirmed COVID-19 cases will be completely quarantined  and treated until they recover. In addition, participating athletes and spectators are asked to strictly exercise COVID-19 prevention and control regulations, such as regularly wearing facemasks and gloves and washing hands.

Colonel Oleg Youshkov affirmed that all challenges could be effectively handled if all participating teams work together.

This is the third time that the Vietnam People’s Army has sent its troops to the event. The number of the Vietnamese teams and participants have increased significantly since its first participation. This year, the Vietnam People’s Army sent three new teams, including artillery, service dog, and signal teams, to compete in the games.

The Russian officer said that Russia expects to see more and more Vietnamese teams and officers in subsequent events.

As scheduled, the sixth edition of the Army Games will start on August 23 and last until September 5.

Translated by Tran Hoai