Russia's Defence Ministry on Saturday announced the start of the International Army Games 2017 in the country, an event which will be held until August 12. The two-week long army games will be held simultaneously in four other countries -- Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan and China. A total of 28 contests will be carried out, with 17 of them taking place in Russia, Xinhua news agency reported. Naval competitions will be staged in the Black and Caspian Seas as well as in the Sea of Japan. More than 150 teams representing 28 countries from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America will participate in the annual games, compared with 128 teams from 20 countries last year. Nine countries will compete in the games for the first time: Bangladesh, Israel, Laos, Morocco, Syria, Thailand, Uzbekistan, Uganda and South Africa. Nineteen teams will participate in the tank biathlon, which will be held at the Alabino training ground in the Moscow region from July 29 to August 12.