Shifting friendships

Russia – Uganda: Why Museveni is gravitating towards Putin

By Musinguzi Blanshe

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Posted on June 17, 2022 08:37

Russia’s President Putin meets with his Ugandan counterpart Museveni at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (R) meets with his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni at the Novo-Ogaryovo state residence outside Moscow December 11, 2012. REUTERS/Yuri Kochetkov/Pool

One week into the Russian invasion of Ukraine amid global condemnation, the Russian Embassy in Kampala announced that Kremlin-linked Russia Today had secured regular space on Uganda’s state broadcaster to tell its side of the story.

A week into the Russian invasion of Ukraine, state television Russia Today secured an opportunity to be aired on Uganda’s state broadcaster (UBC). At the time, Moscow was under intense criticism and sanctions from the West.

At the start of June, the ruling party in Uganda – National Resistance Movement (NRM) – signed a memorandum of understanding with Russia’s ruling party to bolster cooperation. For the same purpose, Museveni also held a virtual call with former president Dmitry Medvedev, who is the chairman of the ruling party. Uganda had notably abstained in the UN vote to condemn Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in March.

The 2021 presidential elections left a strained relationship with the West that is yet to thaw. As China’s Xi Jinping, who has been an ally of many African presidents, focuses on internal politics ahead of this year’s Communist Party National Congress where he is

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