World

For Putin, African leaders are the shadow of the Cold War

Towards the end of February. Just 12 hours after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, a group of officials gathered at a residential building in the South African capital, Pretoria. Among them were Russian officials stationed in the country, as well as South African ministers and senior military officials. They joined in the celebration of a national day in Russia.

The event was hosted by Russia’s Ambassador to South Africa Ilya Rogachev. The guest list included all dignitaries, including the South African Minister of Defense and the Chief of the Armed Forces. Russia did not hesitate to attend the event, even after the invasion of Ukraine.

Moscow has received support from governments and leaders not only in South Africa but also in many other African countries. Many did not condemn the attack again. The position of African countries has disappointed the United States and its Western allies who have come to support Ukraine.  

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has accused the West of interfering in its internal affairs. His son, Muhoji Kainerugaba, recently wrote on Twitter: “A large part of the world’s humanity (non-whites) supports Russia’s position on Ukraine.”

Nicolas Sengoba, a columnist for Uganda’s Daily Monitor, said most African authoritarian leaders, such as Museveni, were pleased with Putin’s stance against Western leaders.

Priyal Singh, a researcher at the Institute for Strategic Studies, said the crisis in Libya in 2011 and NATO’s intervention in the country, as well as instability in the Sahel region, had led many countries to be wary of Western domination. They also believe that a force is needed to take a stand against the West. Russia is seen as a representative of the former Soviet Union.

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