Russia’s aims: from Ukraine to Africa

It is no coincidence that Putin is showing interest in African countries regarding grain and fertilizer exports

In the 21st century, the sovereign territories of Ukraine were annexed in violation of all international laws, principles, and the UN Charter. The invasion process began in 2014, escalated into a major war in 2022, and Russia’s assault on Ukraine, including Kiev, continues. For over a year and a half, the conflict has raged on, with Russia referring to it as a “Special Military Operation,” while Ukraine calls it the “Russia-Ukraine war.”

Since February 2022, both sides of the conflict have suffered significant losses in terms of weapons, equipment, as well as soldiers and civilians. Both sides have allies in this war. The United States and most Western countries are supporting Ukraine, while Iran, China, North Korea, and other countries, including Cuba, referred to as “friends of Russia” by the Putin regime, are assisting Russia. However, at this point, Russia’s source of income is more crucial than military aid, as they require financial resources to sustain this unjust war. In the current situation, they cannot sell their natural resources to Europe. Hence, Russia has begun seeking new partners to sell its natural resources and has succeeded in doing so. For instance, India is assisting Russia by purchasing oil and gas and selling equipment to Russia during the war.

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Although Ukraine’s allies are not directly intervening, they are not mere observers. NATO, especially the United States, has supplied the Ukrainian army with modern and advanced technology weapons. Despite this, the Ukrainian armed forces struggle to defend against the Russian forces’ aerial attacks on their country.

The destruction of Ukraine’s infrastructure is made possible through air and missile attacks by the Air Force. In these operations, it is worth mentioning the extensive use of “Shaheed” drones provided by Iran to Russia. Experts have considered the Shaheed drones to be simplistic and relatively unsuccessful. Nevertheless, these drones enable Russia to achieve its objectives. They are cost-effective and force the Ukrainian air defense system to expend many surface-to-air missiles, which are limited in number and very expensive compared to “Shaheed” drones.

The equipment from China, while not highly sophisticated, contributes to the success of military operations against Ukraine. Beijing denies sending aid to Russia, but Western media reports suggest that China provides dual-purpose equipment, including navigation devices, parts for cars, tanks, other equipment, and aircraft to Russia. Although the materials from China are less than what Ukraine receives from the West, they hold significant importance for Russia due to European Union countries and US sanctions.

It appears that a high-level Russian-Chinese partnership is developing in Africa, promising success. The African continent has become a place where both countries have achieved significant results through their partnership, challenging the influence of former colonial powers, especially Western-backed regimes. The shift in spheres of influence, including the weakening of France and the United States, holds great importance for Russia and China in terms of controlling resources in Africa. Given the global significance of land resources, it is crucial to secure control over these areas. While it’s challenging to estimate the potential benefits at this point, there is no doubt that countries that manage to secure control over these regions will reap substantial rewards.

Thus, even as Russia, supported by its allies, shows no intention of halting military operations in Ukraine, its ambitions extend as far as the African continent. Putin’s actions in the interests of African countries regarding grain and fertilizer exports are not coincidental.

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