On Thursday, additional jets and helicopters were delivered by Russia to the military rulers of Mali. This was the latest in a series of deliveries from Mali’s new primary military and political partner, Russia. At a ceremony that was attended by the Russian ambassador, Igor Gromyko, and the chairman of Mali’s junta, Colonel Assimi Goita, the number of aircraft was determined to be eight planes and two helicopters.
Sukhoi Su-25 combat planes geared to help ground forces were included in the consignment, according to the Mali military. Also included in the package was the Czech-built Albatros L-39. Although the L-39 was primarily developed as a training aircraft, it has also seen service as an offensive aircraft.
Bamako also acquired Mi-8s, which are Russian transport helicopters that were created in the Soviet Union. In addition to delivering troops and equipment, these helicopters may be armed to defend ground forces if necessary. Officials from Mali did not provide a precise breakdown of how many of each aircraft had been delivered. Furthermore, despite the fact that they claim to have acquired the weaponry, they have not disclosed any information regarding the transactions.
This delivery of military hardware from Russia is the most recent in a string of comparable shipments, the previous having taken place in March and August of 2022, respectively. Since 2012, the nation in West Africa has been engaged in a struggle against a jihadist insurgency as well as a political and humanitarian crisis.
Following the 2020 coup that was conducted by the colonels who are currently in charge, relations with the previous colonial power, France, swiftly broke out, and Russia has stepped in to fill the hole. According to a number of different sources, the junta allegedly began importing paramilitaries from the Russian group Wagner in late 2021, which resulted in criticism from a number of other nations.
The military rulers have denied the allegations, claiming that they are simply renewing long-standing ties with Russia and its military. It also says that it is now directly fighting the jihadists who are operating in the country. Experts in the military disagree with this claim. During the event that took place on Thursday, the current head of Mali’s air force, General Alou Boi Diarra, praised the most recent deliveries as the next stage in the “extraordinary” modernization of the country’s forces.