Putin’s Private Army Is Trying to Increase Russia’s Influence in Africa

Putin’s Private Army Is Trying to Increase Russia’s Influence in Africa
AP Photo/Jerome Delay

There's nothing secret about Russia's presencein the Central African Republic. The streets are plastered with propaganda posters proclaiming “Russia: hand in hand with your army!” A local radio station churns out Russian ballads and language lessons. New recruits to the army are being trained in Russian, using Russian weapons.

But the Russian campaign in this war-torn country is anything but straightforward, drawing on a mix of guns-for-hire and clever PR to increase Moscow's influence, outmaneuver its rivals and re-assert itself as a major player in the region.

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