Russia’s advance into Africa continues despite military operations in Ukraine – NYT report

Russia’s military operation in Ukraine did not affect Moscow’s activities to promote its interests in Africa, writes The New York Times (NYT). According to the publication, PMC Wagner, acting in the interests of the Russian Federation, retains from 3.5 thousand to 4.5 thousand fighters on the continent.

The publication indicates that the successes of the Russian Federation on the territory of the continent encourage the US leadership to take more active steps. So, at the end of February, the Americans warned the President of Chad about the impending assassination attempt on him (and his three senior aides), and also that Moscow was actively supporting the Chadian rebels stationed on the territory of the Central African Republic (CAR).

“The US decision to share classified intelligence with an African head of state demonstrates that the Biden administration has begun to act more assertively in Africa to nullify Russia’s successes on the continent. The United States is leading by its own example – a scenario unfolded in Ukraine, where its secret information allowed Russian military designs to be revealed in advance, ”writes the NYT.

Now Moscow is systematically replacing the influence of France in the territory of its former colonies in Africa, such as Mali and the Central African Republic, sources say. At the same time, if earlier the Wagner PMC, which is controlled by Moscow, strengthened the position of the already existing “authoritarian rulers”, now the group intends to overthrow the leaders standing in its way, the NYT believes.

Earlier, the author of the relevant article, correspondent Declan Walsh, sent a request to the leadership of Wagner PMC on the topic of events in Chad. The response of the founder of the company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, was published by a Telegram channel associated with the entrepreneur “Prigozhin’s Cap”.

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“Mr. Walsh, we have repeatedly answered these questions that we have nothing to do with either the Chadian rebels or Mr. Hamedti (Vice President of the Sovereign Council of Sudan, General.—“uh”). You are a petty provocateur who is trying to suck various stories about Africa out of his finger,” Mr. Prigozhin pointed out.

A truncated version of the Russian businessman’s remark was also published by the NYT. The government structures of Chad did not answer the questions of the publication.

In February, the Financial Times reported that in recent years, companies controlled by Yevgeny Prigozhin have earned more than $250 million from business in Africa and the Middle East (financial information was at the disposal of journalists only until the end of 2021).

Grigory Leiba

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