Military Review

Russian flag over Africa. Will Russian military bases return to tropical countries?

31
In recent years, the Russian Federation has been persistently expanding its political, economic and even military presence in the most diverse regions of the world, seeking to regain its past position in international politics. In this regard, the African continent represents a certain interest for our country. If we turn to the domestic storiesthen we will see that in the second half of the XIX century the Russian Empire began to show great interest in relations with Ethiopia - at that time the only serious independent state of the continent. Several Russian soldiers even served in the Ethiopian Negus army, making a great contribution to its modernization.


The Soviet Union, especially from the second half of the twentieth century to the end of the 1980-s, played an enormous role in the political life of the African continent. During the Cold War, Africa became the scene of a geopolitical confrontation between the USSR and the USA. Soviet civilian and military specialists worked in dozens of African states, there were Soviet military personnel. It is difficult to overestimate the importance of Soviet assistance for African countries. But with the help came the influence of the USSR. African states were divided into pro-Soviet and pro-Western, although many leaders of Tropical Africa preferred to maneuver between the two blocs, extracting certain benefits for themselves.

The collapse of the Soviet Union has affected the life of the African continent very badly. Some pro-Soviet regimes quickly ceased to exist, others turned out to be great pragmatists and successfully reoriented to cooperate with the former metropolises, the United States, and then with China. Many countries have stopped receiving assistance, in the 1990s - early 2000s. Post-Soviet Russia is almost gone from Africa. True, some ties remained - in the arms trade, and from civilian industries - mainly in the educational space. Russian universities continued to train specialists for a number of African states, they worked in Africa and Russian specialists, albeit in much smaller numbers than in Soviet times.

As for the economic turnover, in 1990-ies the role of the countries of North Africa - Egypt, Algeria and Morocco, which began to lead in terms of trade with the Russian Federation, especially increased. Numerous streams of Russian tourists rushed to Egypt, and then to Morocco and Tunisia. With Tropical Africa, economic relations in the 1990s were less active, but as early as the 2000s, the situation began to change. First, of course, Tropical Africa recalled Russian business. First of all, we are talking about mining companies that were attracted by the rich natural resources of the African continent.

Initially, the interest of mining companies was caused by two countries - Angola and Guinea. In Angola, Russian companies mined diamonds, in Guinea - bauxite. In Guinea, settled a large concert "Rusal", which bought the brigite-alumina complex "Frigia". Then in Africa began to appear and companies operating in other directions. Currently, Russia continues to lead in arms shipments to sub-Saharan Africa. The main part of the Russian weaponssupplied to African countries - small arms and missile and artillery weapons. In addition, Russian military vehicles are shipped to African countries.

The revitalization of Russia in world politics in the 2010-s has led many African countries to once again become oriented toward more intensive cooperation with Moscow. Moreover, some countries of the continent have very tense relations with the West and Russia seems to them a desirable military-political partner. In November, Omar al-Bashir, the permanent President of Sudan since 2017, made an official visit to Moscow on November 1989. Omar al-Bashir’s relations with the United States did not exist at the dawn of his presidency. In the West, they were unhappy with the authoritarian policies of the Sudanese president and the ongoing Islamization of the country. In turn, al-Bashir can hardly forgive the United States and Western Europe for direct support of the national liberation movement in South Sudan, which ultimately, with American support, was able to achieve the breakup of Sudan into two states and the creation of an independent South Sudan with a Negroid Christian and animistic population. Washington includes al-Bashir among the "ten worst dictators," but it has not yet succeeded in dumping him following the example of Gaddafi.

Russian flag over Africa. Will Russian military bases return to tropical countries?


During his visit to Moscow, al-Bashir openly offered Moscow to build a military base on the Red Sea. According to the Sudanese president, this will allow the country to protect itself from American intrigues. But, in addition to the US presence, al-Bashir is also concerned about the intrigues of neighboring states. In particular, Eritrea is increasing its military cooperation with Egypt. Another neighboring country, Djibouti, turned its territory into a real kaleidoscope of foreign military bases. Thus, the country has 4 French military bases, which is not so surprising - yet Djibouti was a colony of France (French Somalia), as well as 2 US military bases, 1 Italian military base, 1 Japanese military base, 1 Chinese military base, Spanish units and the German army. Saudi Arabia is going to build its base in Djibouti.

Just the other day, Omar al-Bashir discussed issues of military-political cooperation with Recep Erdogan. The Turkish President is also pursuing a fairly independent policy and is trying to maximize his influence on the Islamic world. In turn, al-Bashir called Turkey just the last bastion of the Islamic caliphate. This is also not surprising, since al-Bashir and Erdogan demonstrate their commitment to traditional Islamic values. Both Russia and Turkey can be viewed by Sudan as promising partners in terms of confrontation both with neighboring countries and with the West, which is expanding its military presence in the Red Sea region. On the other hand, the policy of Sudan is very interesting. For example, Omar al-Bashir recently less inclined to cooperate with Iran. He is expanding contacts with Saudi Arabia, and Sudanese troops even take part in the hostilities of the Arab coalition in Yemen against the Hussites supported by Iran.

Of course, for Russia, cooperation with Sudan may be of certain political and military interest. To begin with, Sudan is a huge Muslim country. 39,5 million people live in Sudan. Due to its large population and geographical location, in the Islamic world, Sudan plays an important role. Moscow, the position of Omar al-Bashir, strictly adhering to the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other states, cannot but be liked. Moreover, even 27 March 2014, the Sudan voted at a meeting of the UN General Assembly against the non-recognition of the referendum in the Crimea. Thus, Sudan actually supported the annexation of the Crimea to Russia. This is a very friendly step, which Moscow will not forget.

In Soviet times, a number of Soviet naval bases existed in the Red Sea. So, in 1964-1977. Soviet naval base existed in the port of Berbera in Somalia. In addition to ships, it was planned to place anti-submarine and reconnaissance Aviation, for which an excellent runway was equipped. But then in neighboring Ethiopia, a people's democratic revolution took place and the pro-Soviet regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam came to power, demonstrating a greater commitment to Marxist-Leninist ideology than the Somali regime of Mohammed Siad Barre. Ethiopia was considered a more suitable ally in Moscow, and when war broke out between Somalia and Ethiopia, the USSR and Cuba supported Ethiopia. The history of the Soviet naval base in Somalia ended with the conclusion of the Soviet fleet, and then the Americans took the base.

- Soviet marines on the Red Sea

However, the break in relations with Somalia did not mean the disappearance of the base on the Horn of Africa. In the same 1977 year, the base from Berbera moved to friendly Ethiopia - to Nokra, on the Dahlak archipelago, where it existed until the 1991 year. In Nokra, the Soviet base was located on the territory of the former Italian prison. A logistics center for the Navy of the USSR was placed here, and a Marine unit was on duty.

If the Russian naval base appears in Sudan, it will be only a glorious continuation of the country's traditions. Moreover, it really would not hurt to control the situation in the Red Sea of ​​Russia. If not only the Americans are based in Djibouti, but also the French, and even the Italians or the Spaniards, then the Russians themselves ordered to return to the Red / Sea coast. So far, Moscow has not responded unequivocally to the proposal of Omar al-Bashir, but it is possible that sooner or later Russia will reach an agreement with Sudan on the construction of a military base. By the way, during al-Bashir’s visit to Moscow in November 2017, Sudan managed to conclude a contract for the supply of the newest Su-24 fighters, moreover, it was concluded as part of a total deal worth 1 billion dollars. The participation of Russian military instructors in the training of units of the Sudanese army is also expected. A number of media outlets in recent days have announced the presence in Sudan of fighters of the notorious private military company Wagner. It is possible that they will train the Sudanese units.

Some experts believe that Russian military-political expansion into Central and East Africa will not stop in Sudan. The fact is that the buildup of military presence in other countries is currently of great interest to Russia. The African continent in this regard is an ideal space for the deployment of Russian military bases. In the meantime, Russia is actively developing economic contacts with African countries. For example, 35 Russian companies received licenses to work in Ethiopia, neighboring Sudan. It became known that Rosoboronexport, which has recently been increasing the pace of cooperation with Ethiopia, intends to organize in the country a center for the maintenance of military equipment and the training of military-technical specialists. Ethiopia is a long-time partner of Russia, relations with which go back to the pre-revolutionary period, and our country's more active role in Ethiopia would also not be superfluous in the current world situation.

It is not excluded that, following Sudan, the Russian military may appear in the Central African Republic (CAR). This is a completely exotic state for us, located in the very center of Equatorial Africa and even landlocked. But the position of the CARs is very interesting because it allows you to control the situation in the center of the African continent. But, it can be assumed that if a base in the CARs is established, it’s more likely to have demonstrative and representative goals to emphasize the United States, China, France, the UK and other countries — Russia also has a certain influence and can organize its military bases around the world. .

- Egyptians welcome Soviet ship

Currently, discussions are continuing on the prospects for restoring the air base in Egypt - in Sidi Barrani. Already in 2019, the base can begin its work, and Russia will deploy in Sidi Barrani not only airplanes, but also a small military contingent. In Soviet times, Sidi Barrani already had a military base, so if it is restored, it can also be considered as a return to the place of the former military glory. Since the Russian aviation base is already operating in Syria, in Hamim, its appearance in Egypt will further strengthen Russian capabilities in the region.

The difficult political situation in the Middle East and North Africa also requires that Russia be able to control the situation as actively as possible. The development of cooperation with the countries of the region in the fight against terrorism also requires a more serious military presence. Together with the Egyptian, Sudanese, and Ethiopian military, the Russian military will be able to accomplish tasks to maintain political stability. There is one more interest - it is known that in Africa there are bases of the United States, China, France and other states. In the interests of Russia - to monitor the actions of foreign military bases. In addition, military bases outside the country indicate the country's representation at the international level.

Of course, while in the expert community opinions about the bases are divided. Many well-known analysts doubt their necessity, returning to the eternal theme of money for Russian society. But if the same Spain finds the means to deploy its military abroad, then really Russia, a nuclear power occupying one-sixth of the land, cannot afford to place several naval and air bases in strategic points of the African contingent?
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  1. Loess
    Loess 23 January 2018 15: 22
    +3
    It seemed that the countries of Africa behind our bases are standing in line.
    1. Chertt
      Chertt 23 January 2018 15: 40
      +1
      Any alleged Russian military base must be repeatedly calculated on the feasibility. Economic, first of all
      1. Grandfather
        Grandfather 23 January 2018 16: 58
        +2
        Quote: Chertt
        Any alleged Russian military base must be repeatedly calculated on the feasibility. Economic, first of all

        economically, no foreign base will ever be profitable. not just IMHO, but in general, in fact.
        1. Chertt
          Chertt 23 January 2018 17: 05
          +3
          Expediency is not always a direct financial benefit, but possible military and trade contracts, preferences for Russian companies, preferential taxation of goods from Russia, joint projects, etc.
          1. Evgeniy667b
            Evgeniy667b 25 January 2018 07: 23
            0
            In order to talk about bases, especially naval bases, a full-fledged fleet is needed, approximately as in the days of the USSR. And not just vessels, but so that they correspond to threats and the tasks arising from them. We have big problems with this! And you, dear Chertt Already very worried about the loot, that it reminds me of something bad. Do you have any offshore accounts? That's where the headache for Russia!
            1. Golovan Jack
              Golovan Jack 25 January 2018 07: 31
              +4
              Quote: Evgeniy667b
              And you, dear Chertt, are already very worried about the loot

              All correctly respected Chertt said.
              Politics (bases) is a continuation of the economy (...).
              An economy without "dough counting" ... is not viable.
              Quote: Evgeniy667b
              something it reminds me of bad

              Drink valerian.
              1. Evgeniy667b
                Evgeniy667b 25 January 2018 07: 43
                +1
                Are you also a lover of dough? Through this "hobby" the USSR has sunk into the summers, and Russia is waiting for the same thing if trading inclinations do not come to an end. The whole economy was banged through it, chasing cheap stuff from China and other countries. But now everyone has become such economists, you won’t go around on a lame goat. Just remember, this brings our end closer! I don’t need a valerian. Mercy!
                1. Golovan Jack
                  Golovan Jack 25 January 2018 09: 44
                  +3
                  Quote: Evgeniy667b
                  Through this "hobby" the USSR has sunk into the summer

                  Through which, excuse me?
                  As for me, it was just not accepted to “count” in the USSR: they kept almost half of Africa (communists, yesterday only from a palm tree), and they did not spare money for this ... And to their own people - according to the residual principle (well, except for all sorts of Georgia and the Baltic if).
                  And then they got burned.
                  Quote: Evgeniy667b
                  But now everyone has become such economists, you won’t go around on a lame goat

                  I agree with this, even a plus fellow
                  Especially local "economies" deliver laughing
                  Quote: Evgeniy667b
                  Are you also a lover of dough?

                  I'm realist. And I never spend more than I earn.
                  Colleague Chertt wrote, in fact, about the same, only with reference to the state.
                  What upset you so much - I honestly don’t understand request
                  PS: just don’t try to tell me that I don’t know how the Union lived. I was born and raised in it, unlearned, served, worked ... We know, remember, swam.
      2. gosha1970
        gosha1970 24 January 2018 00: 14
        0
        Congenial thought. Was it too lazy to put pressure on Claudia?
    2. A. Privalov
      A. Privalov 23 January 2018 15: 49
      +1
      Quote: Less
      It seemed that the countries of Africa behind our bases are standing in line.

      Well, they don’t stand in line, but a number of countries are interested. There or there, on those or other conditions - it is possible to agree. From the point of view of political perspectives, the thing is tempting, and the performance is not complicated. Here are just wasteful to horror. But, as they say, the leadership knows better.
    3. seti
      seti 23 January 2018 16: 23
      +2
      In general, in many ways this is true. In Egypt, we are already present in two places at once. In Algeria, we have also strengthened - this is our main partner in this region. We are starting to deal with Libya little by little from neighboring Egypt. Our marines and military specialists are already in Sudan, and most likely this year we will learn about their work - to be or not to be the point of material and technical support of the Navy. Ethiopia is our military specialist. South Africa is the same. This is the most famous - the tip of the iceberg, so to speak.
      Do we need all this? How to count ... Dozens of our companies work in these countries, here we sell our products not only military but also civilian. We export the raw materials necessary for us. All this is billions .. There are thousands of our people. They all need protection. This is a political influence. If not us, it will be different. And the costs .. The returns are also great.
    4. Deniska999
      Deniska999 23 January 2018 18: 07
      +1
      They only need money, just like that.
    5. antivirus
      antivirus 25 January 2018 21: 44
      0
      sooner or later, Russia will reach an agreement with Sudan to build a military base

      these questions to Kadyrov - you can take the base for protection during the Hajj
  2. Megatron
    Megatron 23 January 2018 15: 24
    +2
    On the one hand, this is excellent, new bases, but they need to be maintained and fed, and we don’t print green wrappers. And most importantly, no loans to "developing".
  3. HEATHER
    HEATHER 23 January 2018 15: 33
    +2
    We need to think carefully with our WBs in Africa. Almost everyone is at war with each other. They just want our forces to bring their own policies into their countries. And then, goodbye, friend. We got pajalst from us. Or we just need to crush psychologically and with military launches. But, our MO, I think, without me, will figure it out in this situation.
    1. Olezhek
      Olezhek 23 January 2018 20: 28
      0
      . They just want our forces to guide their policies in their own countries. And then, goodbye, friend.


      Something like that. The bases themselves are of little interest (without a political presence)
  4. a.sirin
    a.sirin 23 January 2018 15: 33
    +5
    Talking about bases with a trillion GDP ... really, what schools and hospitals
    1. HEATHER
      HEATHER 23 January 2018 15: 36
      +2
      To do this, his minister sits in a comfortable chair. And you don’t need to touch the GDP. You can better go forward, for the presidency.
      1. a.sirin
        a.sirin 24 January 2018 21: 06
        0
        Am I for president ?? I do not recommend ...
  5. ism_ek
    ism_ek 23 January 2018 15: 37
    +7
    For 10 years of the reign of Putin and the ocean surface fleet, we will not have at all. The economy must be developed, and not think about bases in the Indian Ocean.
    1. seti
      seti 23 January 2018 16: 23
      +3
      Quote: ism_ek
      For 10 years of the reign of Putin and the ocean surface fleet, we will not have at all. The economy must be developed, and not think about bases in the Indian Ocean.

      Well, of course you know better.
    2. max702
      max702 24 January 2018 00: 02
      +1
      Quote: ism_ek
      The economy must be developed, and not think about bases in the Indian Ocean.

      And how to do it? Like to plant all the thieves and the money will be? yeah right now, this is capitalism! and theft is its essence .. Otherwise, this system does not work! But new arms sales markets, or is there any kind of bus that boosts the economy very quickly, why do we try to maximize our share with energy carriers? but because it's fast money! There is no time or money for long-term ones, we would send drugs to Western countries, but here for many centuries the British royal family has been sitting figs .. You’re entering new markets and excellent! Thank God about the infantilism of the USSR it has long been forgotten (one of the reasons for the collapse) and the current capitalists will not miss their point ...
  6. alavrin
    alavrin 23 January 2018 15: 45
    +3
    To build a base means to contain not only it, but all almost always corrupt authorities of the country. Moreover, the strategic position of Sudan is not so advantageous. Yemen is one thing, where the nodal point is the Bab-El-Mandeb Strait, and Sudan is different, with its Red Sea sandwiched on both sides.
  7. novel66
    novel66 23 January 2018 15: 57
    +5
    "The newest SU-24 fighter" - they really cool the Africans! lol
  8. Curious
    Curious 23 January 2018 16: 48
    +6
    The Great Black Ever-Hungry Continent will gladly accept any donations. The author of the article still had to publish some figures. For example, in the 80s, the USSR supplied arms to multi-colored "allies" worth $ 25 billion annually.
    Almost every day, on television, “dear Ilyich” kissed passionately with another shoe polisher, vowing to assure everyone that his tribe had chosen the socialist path of development. And then he left for Washington and assured that the holiest of capitalism was not for him.
    So it’s worth dropping only what money gives. That's just with the return will be stressful.
  9. Anyone
    Anyone 23 January 2018 17: 17
    +2
    So, it’s not enough just to build a military base or supply base, you still need to build communications. First of all, air. When I was in Aeroflot, we flew to every African, sorry, dump. Then, Aeroflot abandoned the African route grid. Closed: Johannesburg, Douala, Daccar, Ouagadougou, Brazzaville, Antananarivo, Cotonou, Accra, Bamako, Nairobi and so on ... Have to reopen. And subsidize transportation, because they may not be too cost-effective.
  10. Yuriy71
    Yuriy71 23 January 2018 17: 57
    +6
    What are the bases? Dreamers !? Russia doesn’t have enough ships to sail! In Mediterranean, to Syria, all fleets scrape messengers! Ships go to "express trains" without proper repair and rest. Fleet construction programs break down every year, and the introduction of new units into the fleet is constantly being postponed. Build for ten years! The shortage of each of the fleets — tens and tens of units — is what the admirals themselves say in plain text! What are the bases, haters of "all torn". The question is in the survival of the fleet, and not in the new bases!
  11. midshipman
    midshipman 23 January 2018 18: 34
    +4
    I had to take part in hostilities in Egypt (1972 set the flight program for the MiG-25R over Israel), in Angola (mid-80s, I met Raul Castro) and Libya. How young we were. I have the honor.
  12. Olezhek
    Olezhek 23 January 2018 20: 22
    0
    It is possible that after Sudan, the Russian military may appear in the Central African Republic (CAR).


    Somehow I hardly believe in such a “peer-mogue”
    Although we will certainly see
  13. Sinbad
    Sinbad 23 January 2018 21: 01
    +1
    “By the way, during the visit of al-Bashir to Moscow in November 2017, Sudan was able to conclude a contract for the supply of the latest Su-24 fighters, and it was concluded as part of a total deal worth $ 1 billion.” - You have to understand that Su- 24 is a mistake?
  14. MOSKVITYANIN
    MOSKVITYANIN 24 January 2018 01: 56
    0
    In recent years The Russian Federation is aggressively expanding its political, economic and even military presence in various regions of the worldIn an effort to regain the past position in international politics.

    Something did not notice the expansion of the military presence of the Russian Federation in the world, in the ATS of the VVB appeared due to the fight against ISIS at the request of the working people of the ATS, in Vietnam a group of refueling aircraft providing patrols for our Pacific ocean expanses and all ....
    Difficult overestimate the importance that Soviet assistance had for African countries.

    It’s hard to imagine how much freebies they gave to the detriment of the Soviet people ....
    Moreover, some countries of the continent have very tense relations with the West and Russia seems to them a welcome military-political partner.

    Many speculate on this, hanging noodles on the ears of our older comrades ...
    If the Russian naval base appears in Sudan, it will only be a glorious continuation of the country's traditions. Moreover, Russia really would not hurt to control the situation in the Red Sea.

    First of all, control over the communications of the empirialists, without any lyrics, of the naval military base / missile defense and the airfields on about Socotra in Sudan, and oil tankers and gas tankers of the empirialists will be under our control ....
    The position of the CAR is very interesting because it allows you to control the situation in the center of the African continent. But, it can be assumed that if the base in the Central African Republic is to be created, it is more likely for demonstration and representative purposes to emphasize the United States, China, France, Great Britain and other countries - Russia also has a certain influence and can organize its military bases around the world .

    Is the author scoffing? And why not in Western Sahara, and deep in the territory ....?
    then can Russia, a nuclear power occupying one sixth of the land, not allow itself to place several naval and air bases at strategically important points in the African contingent?

    For a long time not a sixth of the land. And why is the WB in Africa? Our sworn "partners" are moving to the Asia-Pacific region ....
    So far no one has occupied about. Socotra (Yemen) can be settled there, the Hussite islanders will support ....

    The Soviet General Staff knew where to settle ...., control over all trade sea lanes ...
    Something even reminds us of our presence there.
    https://www.smileplanet.ru/yemen/ostrov-sokotra/


    And what the hell is the CAR for us?