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How Wagner is offering cowl for Putin in crisis-hit Niger | World Information

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The spectacle of Russian flags waved by coup-supporters at Sunday’s rally in Niamey, Niger, exhibits simply how a lot Russia’s effort to pitch itself as an anti-colonial flag bearer resonates.

The truth although is that it’s completely disingenuous.

Russia’s struggle in Ukraine is a blatantly imperialist endeavor, nevertheless Putin tries to promote it to African leaders who’ve, by and huge, stayed impartial on the invasion.

Wagner’s actions throughout many African nations, particularly in Mali, Sudan and the Central African Republic, bear all types of similarities with the very worst of colonial excesses – mineral extraction, mass atrocities and safety for politically unsavoury regimes on the expense of their populations.

There is no such thing as a direct proof that Wagner had a hand within the Niger state of affairs.

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Yevgeny Prigozhin’s feedback in relation to the coup appear intentionally ambiguous.

Picture:
Wagner Group chief Yevgeny Prigozhin


“Hundreds of Wagner fighters are able to bringing order, of destroying terrorists and of not permitting them to hurt the native populations of those states,” he stated in a voice message on Telegram, whereas hobnobbing with African leaders in St Petersburg.

That implies Wagner can be greater than keen to assist, however is not essentially now.

Russia’s overseas minister Sergei Lavrov has condemned the coup as unconstitutional.

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Head of coup turns into Niger’s chief

Learn extra:
Niger coup backers wave Russian flags and attack French embassy
Putin says African and Chinese initiatives could be basis for Ukraine peace

The Kremlin is understandably under no circumstances eager on the thought of democratically elected leaders being overthrown both by their folks or their militaries.

But when Wagner does throw in its providers to Niger’s navy plotters, the Kremlin has the quilt of distance from the group – which Putin relatively bafflingly declared didn’t even exist just a few weeks in the past – whereas securing a foothold into the politics of yet one more African state.

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One in every of Prigozhin’s array of providers throughout the continent has been within the data area, manipulating public discourse, particularly round elections.

Assume a Russian model of Cambridge Analytica.

These flags in Niamey testify to only how profitable Wagner has been in crafting an impression of Russia – and of the Kremlin’s intentions for Africa – which is a really good distance from the reality.



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