How does Putin extract himself from this mess? The only way to do so is to win the war in Ukraine, or at least to win sufficient concessions that would permit him to spin it as a victory.
Burkina Faso looks to be the latest west African state where Russian influence is on the rise.
Some of the key articles from our coverage of the war in Ukraine over the past week.
As Ukraine retakes parts of its northeastern region from Russia, the Kremlin continues to increasingly look to private military companies to fill in military power gaps.
Mali’s ruling junta, which has already secured the end of France’s Barkhane operation and has largely moved closer to Moscow, is now targeting the UN mission in the country, the Minusma.
China’s need for private security services in Africa has grown significantly as Beijing increases its investment in the continent.
A lot of the fighting in Ukraine is being done by non-state militias, some with a chequered history.
Rising tensions in West Africa heighten as the military junta in Mali engages Wagner, a Russian private military company while defying ECOWAS.
There are few visible results on the ground after eight years of war in Mali.
Private military and security companies are increasingly being contracted in Africa. But there are big gaps in understanding their impact.