A Ukrainian official has pointed fingers at Moscow for orchestrating the coup in Niger, referring to alleged involvement as a “standard Russian tactic”.
Last Wednesday, President Mohamed Bazoum and his democratically elected government were toppled by military leaders in the seventh military coup the country has seen in less than three years.
Mykhailo Podolyak, an adviser to the Ukrainian president, said on Tuesday that Russia was behind the shocking takeover.
On the social media outlet X (formally known as Twitter), Podolyak wrote, “It is now absolutely clear that Russia is behind the so-called ‘military coup’ in Niger. It is a standard Russian tactic: to divert attention, seize the moment and expand the conflict.”
“Russia has a global scenario for provoking instability to undermine the global security order,” he said.
“Its time to draw the right conclusion: only the removal of [Russian President] Putin’s clan and sending Russia to the political rebirth can guarantee the inviolability of rules and stability to the world.”
On Monday, the Kremlin said that the situation in Niger was “cause for serious concern” after the coup that was condemned by much of the world but welcomed by Wagner mercenary boss Yevgeny Prigozhin, who has extensive interests in Africa.
In a call with reporters, Kremlin mouthpiece Dmitry Peskov said Russia called for all sides in Niger to show restraint, and for the fastest possible return to legal order.
Russia’s Wagner Group has not claimed responsibility for the coup but Prigozhin has hailed the military takeover.
Prigozhin’s fighters have played a significant role in many African states, to the dismay of the West, and most recently arrived in the Central African Republic (CAR) ahead of a constitutional referendum.