On November 16, 2020, Vladimir Putin authorized his Ministry of Defense to sign an agreement with Sudan to create a permanent Russian military base in Sudan on the Red Sea, guaranteeing Russia’s first substantial military foothold in Africa since the fall of the Soviet Union. In a continent which is fast becoming the new focus of East-West rivalry for control of its abundant natural resources--chief among them oil—observers are assessing Russia’s motives. What lies behind Moscow's decision to open a naval base in Sudan? And how has Russia’s chief adversaries in the great game for oil – the United States and its allies – responded?
The Western-backed Belarusian opposition has failed to topple President Alexander Lukashenko, who is still firmly supported by Russia. Three months after the Eastern European country held controversial presidential elections, anti-Lukashenko opposition groups still hold protests all over the country, although once massive demonstrations, involving some 100,000 protesters taking to the streets, are now dying down to several thousand.