Staunton, June 1 – Over the last few months and especially in the last two weeks, Russia’s military has dramatically expanded its influence and presence in the Central African Republic, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Djibouti as well, according to Yevgeny Krutikov.
In a commentary for RIA, the military specialist says that this development sets the stage for clashes between Russia and the West, fights which are likely to quickly go beyond proxy wars and involve fights between Russian forces working with the African countries involved and Russian troops, he suggests (ria.ru/analytics/20180601/1521817838.html).
Entitled “Russia has occupied Africa without a Fight,” Krutikov’s article suggests that Russia has stolen a march on the West by providing security services for African leaders that former colonial powers or the United States can’t or won’t. That gives Moscow leverage that they aren’t in a position to counter, he says.
What is striking, the analyst continues, is that in many cases, Russia is moving forward and the West isn’t reacting at all, as in the case of Mozambique where Russia is close to forming a full-fledged military cooperation arrangement. There and in the Congo, much of this progress has occurred in just the last two weeks.
Because of this, Krutikov argues, sub-Saharan Africa “almost certainly will become yet another ‘conflict zone’ between Russia and the United States, even if the latter up to now has not responded to the challenge.