Russia Appoints Wagner Chief in Africa to Replace Prigozhin

Russian officials on Monday appointed Gen. Andrey Averyanov, head of covert offensive operations for Russian military intelligence, to supervise the mercenary Wagner Group’s valuable operations in Africa following the reported death of its founders, Yevgeny Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin, in a plane crash last week.

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JULY 29 (RUSSIA OUT) Russian Main Intelligence Directorate (GRU

Russia’s Top Diplomat Visits Mali as Africa Becomes Capital of Global Jihad

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) reported this week that sub-Saharan Africa has become “the new global epicenter of violent extremism,” accounting for half of the world’s terrorism-related deaths last year. On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov visited Mali, one of the four African nations with the highest number of terrorism deaths, in a bid to extend Moscow’s influence over Africa by helping the ruling junta fight jihadi rebels.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (right) and his Malian counterpart Abdoulaye Diop m