Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Russia Draws on Past Opposition to Colonialism to Curry Favor in Africa

 Foreign Policy posted on 8 February 2023 a commentary titled "Why Russia Markets Itself as an Anti-Colonial Power to Africans" by Jade McGlynn, King's College London.  

Moscow is using "memory diplomacy" to remind Africans that Russia had no colonies on the continent, did not participate in the slave trade, and helped them achieve independence from colonial powers. As it invades Ukraine, Russia also brushes aside the fact that it was an imperial power.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a recent visit to Angola even suggested that Russia's war to "liberate" Ukraine from external Western influence compares to the Angolan war of independence.  Sadly, this line of argument resonates in some parts of Africa.