11 incredible pictures from Russia's International Army Games

Russian Su-25Maxim Shemetov/REUTERSRussian Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack planes perform during the Aviadarts military aviation competition at the Dubrovichi range near Ryazan, Russia, August 2, 2015. The aviation contest is part of the International Army Games, which are held in Russia from August 1-15, with participants from 17 countries, according to organisers.

Russia is under US and EU sanctions over its aggressive policies in Ukraine, and budget pressures have forced the Kremlin to radically scale back its production of high-end weaponry.

But from August 1 to 15, Russia will still get to showcase its military might.

The International Army Games, which are taking place outside of Moscow, are Russia’s way of strengthening military cooperation with 16 countries during a time of increased international isolation for Moscow, while also showcasing the country’s sizable arms industry.

Given the frosty relations between Russia and the West following the Ukraine crisis, the list of the countries participating in the games are not entirely surprising, as they’re mostly Russian neighbours, traditional allies, or states with notably independent-minded foreign policies.

The countries invited to the International Army Games include: Azerbaijan, Angola, Armenia, Belarus, China, Egypt, India, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Serbia, Tajikistan, and Venezuela.

Here are some of the most impressive images from the military games.

One of the main events of the International Army Games is the Tank Biathlon.

The biathlon took place across varied terrain in order to simulate a number of battle scenarios.

Here, an Indian tank emerges from the water during the biathlon.

During the biathlon, tanks competed in relay race and obstacle course events.

The International Army Games also featured helicopters.

Here, Russian Su-25 ground-attack planes perform during the aviation competition segment.

Russian Tu-22M3 bombers also performed accuracy challenges during the event.

Armoured personnel carriers also competed in their own race.

Here, Russian (front) and Chinese personnel carriers compete against each other.

Russian (front) and Chinese armoured personnel carriers (APC) drive on a course of the Caspian Derby-2015 international naval contest during the International Army Games-2015 in the Dagestan's port city of Kaspiysk, Russia, August 5, 2015.

The 'Paratrooper's Platoon' military game during the event also featured obstacle courses and accuracy challenges.

Russian paratroopers overcome obstacles during the 'Paratrooper's platoon' military game at a Dubrovichi shooting range outside of Ryazan, some 170 kms south east of Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Aug. 4, 2015. The competitions called the International Army Games involve troops from Russia and several other nations.

Here, a Russian paratrooper fires a weapon during an accuracy portion of the Paratrooper's Platoon military game.

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