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Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni walk during their meeting in Entebbe.

REUTERS/Isaac Kasamani

Russia and the West battle it out in Africa

Russia’s brutal military offensive may be taking place in Europe, but the battle to shore up support for its cause is now playing out in … Africa.

Russia’s top diplomat, Sergey Lavrov, is currently on a tour to reassure African allies of Moscow’s commitment to alleviating the global food crisis.

But Lavrov is not to be outdone by French President Emmanuel Macron, who is also on a three-nation tour in Central and West Africa. Washington, meanwhile, has sent an envoy to Ethiopia and Egypt.

Russia, the EU, and US have long tried to court developing countries in bids to expand their respective spheres of influence. But as war rages on in Europe, why the intense focus on Africa now?

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The Graphic Truth: Russia arms Africa

Russia has been trying to regain political and economic clout across Africa, a continent where the Kremlin yielded great influence during the Cold War. For years, Moscow has been upping its investment in African countries to gain a strategic foothold on the continent. As part of this effort, it’s been sending mercenaries to support counterinsurgencies in West Africa, as well as flooding some African states with weapons. We look at Russia’s arms exports to Africa’s largest economies and compare them to military exports from the US and China.

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