Mali receives six more warplanes from Russia
Such a move could signify that Russia's military strength is vast enough to include efforts to support allies and crisis-stricken countries.
Sources reported on Tuesday that Mali was handed over six more warplanes from Russia, which include five L-39 and Sukhoi-25 jets and an Mi-24P helicopter.
A ceremony was held for the handover of the warplanes in the presence of Russian diplomats and Assimi Goita, the head of Mali's military junta.
This is the latest batch of deliveries under close ties that have been forged since the country underwent a coup in August 2020.
In a speech, Defense Minister Sadio Camara paid tribute to Mali's "win-win partnership with the Russian Federation."
The new deliveries "strengthen our reconnaissance and attack capabilities," he said. "Today's ceremony is historic, both in kind and quality as well as in the volume of what you are handing over," Camara said.
"We are just showing a part of (Russian arms deliveries), the rest, of course, is being used in operations as these ceremonies unfold," he added.
Russia previously delivered two Mi-24P helicopters and surveillance radars delivered in April, as well as two helicopters and mobile radar systems delivered in March.
The helicopters were Mi-35P attack aircraft, an export version of the Mi-24P, according to the specialist newsletter Africa Intelligence.
Four Mi-171 choppers, a model used for troop transport, arrived last October, according to the authorities.
One of the poorest nations in the world, Mali has been battered by a jihadist campaign that began in the north of the country in 2012.
The attacks have spread to the center and south of Mali and into Niger and Burkina Faso. Across the region, thousands of people have died and more than two million have fled their homes.
The Malian people have a profound sentiment of resentment toward France that, during about 10 years of its military presence in Mali, failed to achieve any tangible achievements in terms of the country's security, political instability, and economic issues.
The junta decided to withdraw all defense treaties with France, citing "flagrant abuses" of national sovereignty, no longer allowing Paris to have the legal basis for carrying out military operations in Mali.