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2016 International Army Games a more militaristic alternative to Rio Olympics

With Russia's status at the Rio Olympics still in question amid allegations of state-sponsored doping, Russians will still have a chance to cheer on their compatriots at the 2016 army games. Replacing amateur athletes with military personnel, the games allow Russia and the 18 other countries involved to flex muscles of a different sort.

Games take place from July 30-Aug. 13 in Russia and Kazakhstan, involving 121 teams from 19 countries

A soldier looks on as Nicaragua's T-72B3 tank competes in the individual race event of the tank biathlon as part of the 2016 army games, an international event organized by the Russian defence ministry. (Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Getty Images)

With Russia's status at the Rio Olympics still in question amid allegations of state-sponsored doping, Russians will still have a chance to cheer on their compatriots at the 2016 army games.

Olympics for the military

Replacing amateur athletes with military personnel, the International Army Games allow Russia — and the 18 other countries involved — to flex muscles of a different sort. 

(Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

The T-72 tank above, operated by a crew from Azerbaijan, fires at at target during the tank biathlon on Tuesday. Below, an amphibious infantry fighting vehicle is seen speeding through the sand.

(Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Russia hosts event for 2nd straight year

Russian defence minister Sergei Shoigu officially opened the 2016 International Army Games in Moscow on Saturday.

(Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters)

This is the second consecutive year Russia has hosted the event, which involves several different types of war games, including a tank biathlon and an aerial bombardment contest.

(Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

Tank biathlon 

(Maxim Zmeyev/Reuters)

One of the more popular events at the International Army Games is the tank biathlon

(Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

The competition among tank crews includes both an individual and a relay race.

(Maxim Shemetov/Reuters)

121 teams from 19 countries

The war games are a major military competition between 19 countries including China, Venezuela, Egypt, Iran, India and others.

Here, a crew member from Tajikistan pokes his head out of his T-72B3 tank.

(Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Getty Images)

This woman takes a selfie with Indian servicemen during the tank biathlon.

(Sergei Bobylev/TASS/Getty Images)

With files from Reuters

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