Book review: Russia in Africa

Russia in Africa: Resurgent Great Power or Bellicose Pretender?

Samuel Ramani

Jacana

Review: Lauren O’Connor-May

If you are interested in politics, and the relationship between Russia and South Africa in light of the Soviet country’s latest activities, then you will like this book.

Dr Ramani is a politics and international relations professor at the University of Oxford.

He writes and contributes regularly for international news organisations and earlier this year, he published Putin’s War on Ukraine.

In this, his second publication for the year, Ramani relates in painstaking detail Russia’s political interactions with African countries from the early 90s until the invasion of Ukraine.

It is jam-packed with information, including two introductions and a postscript but gives very little outright opinion, but when it does, it is subtly done.

The purpose of this information compendium is stated on the cover.

It asks the reader to decide, in light of Russia’s history, if it is a resurgent great power or a bellicose pretender.

The book mostly leaves the answer to the reader.