Africa: threat of hunger and Russian soft power

African countries are among those most accutely facing hunger because of Russian aggression against Ukraine. Yet, many African nations choose to tolerate or even support Russia in many ways. This was illustrated by the United Nations vote on 2 March in which 18 African states voted against or abstained from condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine.

This can be explained by the Kremlin’s years-long efforts to put the African countries under its influence. The so-called ‘soft power” came into play as Russia realized Africa was an attractive arena to pursue its interests with limited economic and political costs. Russia has been pushing its agenda in Africa through disinformation networks like Prigozhin’s Internet Research Agency. It has also conducted its influence through more conventional education programmes and the expansion of Russian state media into African markets.

With 54 votes at the UN General Assembly (27,97 % of all votes) and three votes at the UN Security Council, African nations must realize that to ensure their food security, they must raise their voices and put pressure on Russia to restore the safe export of grain from Ukraine. If they remain unconsolidated in their position against the true perpetrator of the looming food crisis and continue buying into Russian propaganda, the consequences will be catastrophic.


  • Denys Pilash, international relations expert

UKRAINE IN FLAMES project is created by Ukraine Crisis Media Center and NGO “Euroatlantic Course”. We are aiming at searching a loud support for Ukraine in the war started by Russia on the 24th of February 2022.

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