British Intelligence, in its daily report on the war in Ukraine on Wednesday, explained the purpose for which Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov left on a tour of African countries.
Lavrov is currently visiting Egypt, Ethiopia, Uganda and the Republic of Congo.
Russia is likely to try to use these visits to blame the West for the international food crisis and gain support from African states that have remained neutral about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the report said.
Since 2014, Russia has made significant efforts to secure influence in Africa, with the Wagner Group has often been used as one of its favorite tools of influence in the region, British intelligence stressed.
"Russia is probably primarily engaging with Africa because it believes it reinforces the 'great state' identity it so aspires to. Its secondary objectives are probably to secure commodity concessions and to persuade African states to vote in accordance with Russian interests" in international forums," the summary said.
Separately, British intelligence touched on the fighting situation in eastern Ukraine, noting that the Russian private military company Wagner probably succeeded in launching a tactical offensive in the Donbas near the Uglegorsk hydroelectric plant and the Novoluganskoye settlement. Some Ukrainian forces have probably already withdrawn from the area.