Everything indicates that a small unit of Ukrainian special forces is operating in Sudan - where a civil war has been going on since April. The Ukrainians support the Sudanese army.
Everything indicates that a small unit of Ukrainian Special Forces is operating in Sudan - where a civil war has been going on since April. The Ukrainians support the Sudanese army and fight against the rebellious troops of General Dagalo, who in turn allied with the Wagnerites and the Kremlin.
In September 2023, the first bits of information appeared on the activities of Ukrainian Special Forces in Sudan.
The first to report this was the American television CNN, which - by analyzing recordings from drones used in the fighting for the Sudanese capital and by talking to Ukrainian intelligence officers - came to the conclusion that special forces of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ukrainian Ministry of Defense (HUR) were operating in Sudan.
In October, further materials appeared, lending credence to the theory about the presence of Ukrainian Special Forces in Sudan. Ukrainian media published a short video showing urban fighting for Khartoum and Omdurman and the work of Ukrainian snipers on the outskirts of the Sudanese capital.
Although the published materials do not definitively confirm the presence of Ukrainians in Sudan, most commentators believe that HUR operates in this African country. In this situation, we must ask ourselves: why is Sudan so important that Ukraine sent its special forces here? We must look for the answer in the contacts of the Sudanese warlord, General Dagalo, with the Wagner Group and the Kremlin itself.
Since April 2023, there has been a civil war in Sudan between two military officials - General Burhan (commander-in-chief of the Sudanese armed forces) and General Dagalo (warlord from Darfur, commander of the so-called Rapid Support Forces, RSF).
The outbreak of the civil war in Sudan presented the Russians with a big dilemma. Moscow had good relations with both generals fighting for power. The Wagner group, which has been operating in Sudan since 2017, was primarily associated with General Dagalo, who made it easier for Russians to enter the Sudanese gold trade.
General Burhan, who since 2019 was de facto the most influential person in the country, also had contacts with the Wagnerites, and also visited Moscow several times and was sympathetic to the idea of building a Russian naval base on the Sudanese coast of the Red Sea.
Ultimately, the Russians "bet" on General Dagalo. Already in the first weeks of the civil war - using their bases in eastern Libya and the Central African Republic - the Russians began to deliver weapons and ammunition to General Dagalo's troops to Darfur (western Sudan). Moscow's decision to "bet" on Dagalo was probably the result of a broader regional puzzle - the warlord from Darfur was supported by the United Arab Emirates, which helps Russia circumvent some Western sanctions and is also involved in the trade in Sudanese gold.
The decision to support Dagalo was risky, but the risk paid off for the Russians. The longer the fights last, the more and more Dagalo's advantage becomes. By the end of October, he had managed to take control of most of Darfur. At the same time, his people took over a large part of the metropolis of Khartoum (Khartoum-Omdurman-Bahri). It seems that the longer the civil war in Sudan lasts, the more Russian and Emirati arms supplies will tip the scales of victory in General Dagalo's favor.
A victory for General Dagalo would allow the Russians to secure the privileged position they now have in Sudan. The millions that Russians earn from trading Sudanese gold could still flow to Moscow and support the Russian war machine - this is of great importance, especially now that Russia is under Western sanctions.
Moscow also seems to believe that General Dagalo's takeover of Sudan could accelerate the creation of a Russian naval base on the Red Sea. Although General Burhan was positive about the idea of building a base, pressure from the US forced him to abandon this ambitious plan.
Moscow calculates that a full victory for General Dagalo would mean political isolation of Sudan and the imposition of sanctions on the country by the Americans. Dagalo would then have limited room for maneuver and would be forced to continue close cooperation with Russia.
Kyiv sent a very small unit of special forces to Sudan. The recordings show that their activities are limited only to the metropolis of Khartoum, where - using drones and sniper rifles - they attack Gen. Dagalo's militia from a distance.
For obvious reasons, a small Ukrainian unit is unable to change the fate of the war in Sudan. However, the presence of Ukrainians in Africa has great propaganda significance.
Kyiv is waging a multidimensional war with Russia. The Ukrainian-Russian war is not limited to the battlefields in Ukraine itself. Acts of sabotage on the territory of the Russian Federation, attacks on important Russian military figures, politicians, and propagandists (e.g. Daria Dugin) and raids deep into Russia conducted, for example, by the Russian Volunteer Corps (fighting on the side of Kiev) also remain an integral part of it.
Such actions are particularly important now, when there is a stalemate on most fronts of the Ukrainian-Russian war, and Israel's actions in the Gaza Strip and the general increase in tension in the Middle East are distracting public opinion from Ukraine and causing reduced material support for Ukraine. Ukraine needs success to silence the demands emerging in the West to reach a compromise with Russia.
The presence of Ukrainians in Sudan is also the fulfillment of a threat that has already been made several times by General Kyrylo Budanov, head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine (HUR), saying: "We will kill Russians everywhere, all over the world, until Ukraine's complete victory".