07 Czerwiec 2023
Source of VPRO broadcast:
The Central African Republic is the testing ground for Russia's compelling ambition to take African countries into its sphere of influence and turn them against the West. In exchange for raw materials and diplomatic support in the UN Security Council, Russia supplies mercenaries to keep governments in power, education and disinformation with a Moscow perspective. Journalist Bram Vermeulen meets Wagner's masked mercenaries and their best customer, the president of the Central African Republic. He hears about their gruesome methods of scorched earth, kidnappings and disappearances. He literally engages in a fight with Vladimir Putin's representative in the Central African Republic during a boxing training session with the Russian consul who dismisses all allegations of human rights violations as fake news. The Russians are waging a disinformation campaign that is riding on a wave of distaste for former colonizer France, who is accused of disinterest in the fate of Africans and racism. This campaign is being carried out on numerous fronts: social media, university lectures and war films in which Russians are the heroes and Westerners the villains. Journalists who try to combat the disinformation mysteriously die or are threatened. On the front lines of Cold War 2.0, Bram Vermeulen sees that the West is losing the battle for Africa. VPRO Documentary publishes a new subtitled documentary weekly, investigating current affairs, finance, sustainability, climate change or politics.
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