On 16 February, this report from the Global Initiative Against Transnational Organised Crime says that Russia has rapidly increased its engagement in Africa in recent years, both politically and economically, as it seeks to expand its influence on the continent. However, its activities in Africa are subject to controversy. The report sheds light on the Wagner Group, a private military company rapidly becoming the most effective form of Russian engagement in Africa. It has been accused of using whatever means necessary to achieve its aims, including criminal activity; and the US government recently designated Wagner as a ‘transnational criminal organization,’ allowing for broader sanctions against Wagner and its enablers. The report shows that Wagner did not emerge in a vacuum, and that the group’s activities and characteristics reflect broader trends in the evolution of Russia’s oligarchs and organised crime groups, their respective relationships with the Russian state, and their activities in Africa.