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Russia-Mali: Who is spreading Moscow’s soft power in Bamako?

By Bokar Sangaré, Fatoumata Diallo
Posted on Thursday, 25 November 2021 14:34

Anti-French demonstration in Bamako, 27 May 2021. Michele Cattani/AFP

The announcement that the Russian security company Wagner may be arriving in Mali is causing controversy. However, this is only the latest act in the discreet and determined media offensive that Moscow is conducting in the country, which greatly displeases France.

At 2pm on 29 October, the tar was burning in Bamako. As the mosques emptied, thousands of people gathered at Independence Square. In the processions that led them to the rallying point, the Russian flag accompanied the national colours. The words ‘France, get out’ and The Malians’ slogan ‘Long live the Russians’ appeared on some of the posters and signs that the demonstrators proudly brandished.

Hostile slogans