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Russian military advisors have arrived in Niger to enhance the country’s air defenses following recent diplomatic issues between the United States.

This week, state television broadcast images of Russian military personnel disembarking from a plane. The trainers, wearing military attire, were seen preparing to support the Nigerian army in utilizing the newly arrived military equipment.

One of the trainers speaking to the media said, “We are here to train the Nigerian army to use the military equipment that is here. We are here to develop military cooperation between Russia and Niger.” The initiative to strengthen air defense came after a recent conversation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Niger’s military leaders.

This move comes as Niger’s relationship with the United States becomes increasingly strained following recent political upheavals and the recalibration of military alliances in the region.

Despite the presence of American troops and substantial US investments in Niger’s military infrastructure, the arrival of Russian forces complicates the ongoing US-Niger cooperation, particularly in counterinsurgency operations. The US has historically viewed Niger as a crucial ally in combating insurgencies in the Sahel.

Relations with the US deteriorated further after a US delegation’s visit last month, which led to Niger’s junta declaring US airbase flights illegal and distancing itself from the US military presence.


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