How France Is Taking Revenge on Moscow for Russian Meddling in Its Former African Colonies

Moscow’s increased influence in the region, through the Wagner Group (and now Africa Corps), has caused a decline in French influence, evidenced by the withdrawal of its troops from countries such as Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. However, France does not remain passive in the face of this advance, retaliating with a series of initiatives aimed at undermining Russian interests in territories historically aligned with Moscow in Eurasia, such as Armenia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.

The term “Françafrique” originated from the expression “France-Afrique,” used by the first president of Ivory Coast, Félix Houphouët-Boigny, in 1955, to describe the close ties between his country and France. Later, in 1998, François-Xavier Verschave pejoratively renamed this concept as “Françafrique” to criticize the alleged corrupt and clandestine activities of various Franco-African political, economic, and military networks, also known as French neocolonialism.


Since the mid-2010s, the Wagner Group, a paramilitary organization (also considered mercenaries) with close ties to the Russian government, has gradually increased its presence in Africa, while Russia employs hybrid warfare tactics to expand its influence in the region.

The Wagner Group

The escalation of these rivalries could result in an escalation of regional tensions and even an increase in proxy wars, contributing to instability and conflict in various parts of the world. However, it is a dangerous game, especially when played by two nuclear powers.

Why is the dispute for regional influence is important?