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WSJ reveals Ukraine's involvement in conflict against Russia in Sudan

Wednesday, 6 March 2024, 12:15
WSJ reveals Ukraine's involvement in conflict against Russia in Sudan
Stock photo: Getty Images

Ukrainian special forces are participating in combat operations in Sudan against rebels and Russian military formations, as part of a strategy aimed at undermining Russia's military and economic operations abroad.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

Quote: "For Ukraine, sending troops to Africa is an audacious new venture – part of a strategy to disrupt Russia’s military and economic operations abroad, make the war more costly for Moscow, and position itself as a bulwark against Russian incursions, including in regions where the West has been reluctant to get directly involved."


Details: The Wall Street Journal reports that Sudan’s military ruler Abdel Fattah al-Burhan sought assistance from President Volodymyr Zelenskyy after Sudan covertly supplied weapons to Ukraine in 2022.

Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and Volodymyr Zelenskyy
Photo: Office of the President of Ukraine

Several Ukrainian soldiers who participated in the operation, as cited by the publication, said that Ukrainian special forces landed in Sudan a few weeks after the call, initiating combat actions to push rebel forces out of the capital, Khartoum.

"The front line in the war between Ukraine and Russia now extends into Africa," WSJ states.

At the same time, the publication asserts, "the operation comes with significant political risk at a moment when Western support for Ukraine is wavering."

"In Sudan, Ukraine is wading into an internal conflict in a foreign country, where tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and the US says both sides have committed war crimes. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has warned that any country providing material support ‘bears responsibility for fuelling atrocities against the Sudanese people’," WSJ writes.

Ukrainian Defence Intelligence Chief Kyrylo Budanov in a comment to the publication declined to confirm whether military personnel were sent to Sudan, but provided reasoning for their deployment. "War is a risky business. We are in a full-fledged war with Russia…They have units in different parts of the world, and we sometimes try to strike them there," he emphasised.

The publication states that Ukrainian military personnel have also begun training Sudanese soldiers in some of the same tactics that helped them resist the larger Russian army, including the use of drones.

Specifically, as claimed by WSJ, Ukrainians assisted in delivering Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drones to Sudan in February, capable of conducting precision airstrikes.

"Ukraine’s influence is still being felt in Sudan. In recent weeks, Burhan’s forces regained control of large parts of Omdurman – their first major advance of the conflict. Experts attribute the gains, in large part, to precision drone strikes, as well as the deployment of the Sudanese army’s elite units. Kyiv also recently dispatched a shipment of wheat flour to Port Sudan, which arrived last week," WSJ says.

Background: On 6 November 2023, the Kyiv Post published two videos which appear to show Ukrainian special forces hunting down Wagner Group mercenaries in Sudan, although the Ukrainian government has not officially recognised either the deployment of combat units in Sudan or the carrying out of operations against Wagnerites in that country.

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