Russian and African Media: Exercising Soft Power

Under President Vladimir Putin, there has been a resurgence of Russian interest and involvement in Africa. The October 2019 Russia–Africa Summit in Sochi was reported as being a key milestone in Russia’s return to the African continent.

The charm of anti-westernism: Russia’s soft power in Africa

The effectiveness — or, for that matter, the existence — of Russia’s soft power has always been a controversial topic, dividing both academic and policy researchers. Now, with Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, talking about Russia’s soft power may sound like fiction – even more so from Europe’s perspective. However, this is not the case when it comes to Africa.

Russia’s Soft-Power Sources in Africa

While Russia is widely associated with hard power, which relies on force or economic sanctions, it has been trying to recover some of the Soviet Union’s soft power as part of its toolkit to rebuild its influence in Africa.

How China and Russia Project Power in Africa

Since 2000, China and Russia have established their standing as resurgent great powers in Africa. Our video illustrates and compares their economic and security influence, while highlighting differences in how China and Russia engage with African states. Read the policy briefing on which this video is based here: