The European Council on Foreign Relations on 12th November published an article saying that the involvement of Russian private military contractors (PMC) in Africa is rapidly growing, and with it, their political and economic influence. It says that Russia is strengthening its economic and political ties with Africa. The value of Russian trade with African countries rose from $3.4 billion in 2015 to $14.5 billion in 2016, and it is is actively co-operating with African dictators that the West has targeted with economic and political sanctions. In the last 3 years, Moscow significantly intensified its involvement in Africa, a process that culminated in Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s tour of Angola, Namibia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Ethiopia earlier this year. Officially, the PMC remain illegal in Russia. After using Ukraine as a testing ground, Russian PMC have been seen in Syria, and have been spotted in 3 African countries.