With Ukraine 🇺🇦 holding the world’s attention—while heroically holding off Russia 🇷🇺—the latter is increasing their influence beyond Europe by militarily supporting another autocratic government, this time in Mali 🇲🇱.
Currently, Russia 🇷🇺 has few allies in Europe. Except for Belarus 🇧🇾, Hungary 🇭🇺 (who ironically is a member of NATO) & potentially France 🇫🇷 (if Marine Le Pen wins the Presidency), most of Europe is united against Russia 🇷🇺 politically, militarily & economically.
Under Vladimir Putin, Russia 🇷🇺 is seeking new allies & has set its sights on the continent of Africa. With Mali 🇲🇱 isolated from European & North American powers via sanctions, we should expect to see Russia 🇷🇺 court more autocratic run countries in Africa—which means Burkina Faso 🇧🇫 is probably next.
Like Mali 🇲🇱, Burkina Faso 🇧🇫 is fighting a war against violent religious extremism from Islamic fundamentalists. But like Mali 🇲🇱 (whose soldiers slaughtered a village of 300 civilians), the government of Burkina Faso 🇧🇫 is also oppressing the people they have sworn to protect.
Russia 🇷🇺 already has established military ties in the Central African Republic 🇨🇫 (via the Russian mercenary Wagner Group). The latter is also waging war against violent religious extremists from both Christians & Muslims with brutal results.
With Mali 🇲🇱 embracing assistance from Russia 🇷🇺 & Burkina Faso 🇧🇫 within Putin’s sights, it would not be surprising to see both African countries morph into oppressive authoritarian regimes at the expense of rule by the people via democracy.