Russia is strengthening its influence in Africa to open a second front against the West

As the newspaper notes, the Kremlin is trying to create something like a second front in the region to confront the West. Russia’s interests extend to a number of countries – from Mali in the west to Sudan in the east.

In a region where large areas in the past were under the control of France, Russian forces are sponsoring the spread of anti-French propaganda, accused of neo-colonial ambitions.

“Moscow’s goal is to weaken Europe and open a front where Europe and France look weak. To achieve this goal, Russia uses various tools, including operations against Islamist rebels, the sale of weapons, the promotion of autocracy,” said Samuel Ramani, an adviser to the French president.

According to experts, Russia’s influence is especially noticeable in the Central African Republic, one of the poorest and most unstable countries. Here, the Russian presence consists in the presence of 1,500 Wagner PMC fighters, the extraction of gold and diamonds, and even the production of vodka.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the CAR Sylvie Baipo-Temon stressed that the mistakes made by France in this country played into the hands of Russia.

“As soon as the French troops left the republic, they were replaced by the Russians, who arranged the supply of weapons to the government, which is having a hard time holding power,” she stressed.

The Russian Federation also finances social projects in CAR. Thus, Russia paid for the restoration of the cathedral in Bangui, the capital of the Central African Republic, which was transferred to the Moscow Patriarchate from Constantinople, and the creation of a school class for orphans, where they are taught the Russian language. The Russian language has also become compulsory in local universities. Wagner fighters guarding CAR President Faustin-Archange Touadéra.

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“They are not just his bodyguards, he is their hostage,” a Western diplomat based in Bangui told the FT.

According to the publication, Russia was involved in a military coup in Burkina Faso, where already in January the new government demanded that the French troops leave the country. The President of neighboring Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, claims that the authorities of Burkina Faso have attracted Wagner fighters to fight jihadists.

“Today, Russian mercenaries are on our northern border,” the Ghanaian leader confirmed.

In addition, the Kremlin has developed good relations with the Sudanese administration. According to the US Treasury Department, Russian companies profit from the illegal export of gold mined in this African country, and it is Russian smuggling of this gold that finances Putin’s war in Ukraine.

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