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Russia's Shadow Army in Africa

Why are governments across Africa working with the Wagner Group and what does this mean for peace and stability on the continent? Elizabeth Shackelford and Federica Saini Fasanotti discuss.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov attends a news conference with Mali's Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Abdoulaye Diop, in Moscow, Russia. Play Podcast

About the Episode

Mercenaries from the Wagner Group have been in the headlines recently for their alleged role in war crimes in Ukraine. But the Kremlin-linked paramilitary group has been active in Africa for several years, where it provides a wide range of services to governments across the continent. For this week's Deep Dish, the Council’s Elizabeth Shackelford is joined by Federica Saini Fasanotti of the Institute for International Political Studies in Milan to discuss how Wagner’s growing footprint in Africa supports Russia’s strategic and commercial interests. 

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About the Experts
Senior Associate, Institute for International Political Studies
Federica Saini Fasanotti is a nonresident fellow in the Center for Security, Strategy, and Technology in the Foreign Policy program at the Brookings Institution. She is also a senior associate at ISPI in Milan. She is a historian specialized in counterinsurgency and asymmetric wars. Her fieldwork and research have covered, among others, Afghanistan, Libya, and the Horn of Africa.
Elizabeth Shackelford
Former Senior Fellow, US Foreign Policy
Council staff Elizabeth Shackelford
Elizabeth Shackelford, a former career diplomat who served the US Mission to Somalia and the US Embassy in South Sudan, focuses on building awareness and understanding of a "restraint" approach to foreign policy, which seeks to limit the use of force to core US security interests and favors diplomatic engagement.
Council staff Elizabeth Shackelford

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