While the World’s Eyes Are Elsewhere, Russia Makes Gains in Africa

While the eyes of the world remain firmly fixed on Israel and Ukraine, Russia has been quietly building a new empire in Africa. From Sudan to Libya, from Algeria to Burkina Faso, Moscow is patiently stitching together a network of African client states that will likely endure regardless of the outcome of events in Europe. In return, Russia is acquiring customers, mining concessions, basing rights, and naval access.

Having engineered the ‘Surovikin Line’ in eastern Ukraine the general now appears prepared to operate in Africa. Last month, he made an official visit to Algeria to discuss counter-insurgency assistance.Finally, the chronic instability in much of Africa has provided numerous opportunities for expanding Russian influence. The governments of Mali, Sudan, the Central African Republic, Niger, Burkina Faso, and Libya, among others, do not fully control their own territory.

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