Mali has taken a delivery of warplanes and helicopters from Russia as Moscow deepens its involvement in the country.
Since breaking ties with France, the military regime in Mali has become reliant on its new ally, which has deployed mercenaries from the Wagner group, according to multiple sources.
Correspondents say these troops are doing little of the fighting against the Islamist insurgency, and appear to be concentrating on securing Mali's mineral resources for exploitation.
Russia has also been accused of becoming involved in another African nation, Eswatini, though Moscow's ambassador there has denied reports it is training security officers.
Alexander Surikov said it was just giving scholarships for military education.