The announcement that the putschists in Mali who seized power in May are close to a deal with the notorious Russian Wagner group to bring in 1,000 mercenaries, has ruffled feathers in Paris.

Amid much coverage of the American and French military presence and Chinese economic activism in Africa, Moscow’s military presence has not enjoyed as much attention in public debates. But, what does autocratic Russian President Vladimir Putin want in Africa?..

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as articles from our international business news partners; ProfileData financial data; and digital access to the Sunday Times and Sunday Times Daily.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00. Got a subscription voucher? Redeem it now