Russian ties in Africa – stuff of crime thriller movies

As quoted in DM: Russia’s concerted push into Africa is re-establishing the country’s strongest links with the continent since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Trade with Africa grew to $20.4bn in 2018 with Russia signing military agreements with 21 African countries.


Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma – Winston Churchill
Vladimir Putin’s inaugural Russia-Africa summit last month saw 43 of the African continent’s 55 heads of state attending. In a thought-provoking article in Daily Maverick (which incidentally is better than the Hawks in uncovering what politicians would prefer stay covered), the Scorpio team unscrambled this modern-day “scramble for Africa” by Russia, China, India, Turkey, the Arab League, South Korea, the European Union, France and Japan. It rightly summed it up as a global fight to fill a vacuum “left by US President Donald Trump’s retreat from the red continent.”
However,  Russia’s presence in Africa is not without controversy and with the shadowy private mercenary Wagner group piggybacking on the mother country’s foothold in several war-torn countries on the African continent, even the most lassez-faire incumbent cannot but sit up and take notice.

The “godfather” and funder of Wagner is Yevgeny Prigozhin, a St Petersburg- based oligarch known as “Putin’s chef” who has clandestinely led Russia’s push into Africa over at least the three years. Wagner functions as an undeclared branch of the Russian military. The rest of the African story is the stuff crime thrillers are made of.

Do yourself a favour – read Daily Maverick’s  (15/11- Friday’s) piece. It is simply riveting reading. And scary.

Hard men present hard choices – none more so than Vladimir Putin, the President of Russia. Hillary Clinton

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