By Kofi Ampeah-Woode
The Embassy of the Russian Federation has called on African countries to draw close to the Russian Federation, as it marked the country’s National Holiday, named “The Day of the Red Army” or “The Motherland Defenders’ Day” which is celebrated on 23rd of February annually.
Pursuant to building a mutually beneficial relationship with the African continent, in October 2019, the President of the Russian Federation – Vladimir Putin – will convene the RUSSIA-AFRICA SUMMIT in Sochi and it is expected that a historic number of African leaders will visit Russia to attempt to activate and deepen African-Russian relations, including military cooperation.
The call was made at a dinner reception held to mark the day at the Federation’s ambassadorial residence, which was well attended by members of the Diplomatic Corps and their Defence Attaches and some senior military officers, on Thursday, 21st February, 2019.
Russian Federation’s Ambassador to Ghana, Excellency Mr. D.U. Suslov said that as a nation, the Soviet Union or the Russian Federation, never colonized any African nation, neither has she had military bases in any part of Africa because Russia believes in self-sufficiency but has rather concentrated on the development of her human and natural resource development.
In Ghana, Russian military specialists in 1960-1966, helped to build the Bureau of African Affairs campus at the Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute in Winneba, Artillery Force Airdrome near Tamale and supplied aircraft, helicopters, patrol boats, artillery systems and ammunition to the country.
Additionally, a lot of service personnel received training in the Soviet Union and in 2004, the Russian Federation supplied the Ghana Armed Forces with four helicopters – M17 and in 2012, four helicopters – Mi-171.
For the last four years, the Russian Federation has signed about twenty (20) Military and Technical Agreements with some African countries, including Ghana, and with Burkina Faso, the country signed an agreement on Military Cooperation (covering a number of spheres of bilateral actions including the fight against terrorism) with Russia in August 2018.
The 23rd of February was officially declared the Day of the Red Army in 1922, after the great victory in the Second World War and Russians have celebrated this day as a national holiday, as the Day of the Soviet Army and Navy.
In the year 2000, modern Russia – considered the country with the largest land space on earth – renamed 23rd February, the “Motherland Defenders’ Day”, as an official day off and, regardless of the name, this day has always been honoured by patriots of Russia – Defenders of the Motherland.
In Russia, military people have always been a symbol of the country’s might and personal honour and Russians have a lot of respect for military labour, because their servicemen have always been in the front ranks of development – they have been defenders and reliable support for the whole nation – both in peace and troubled times.
After two years of Russia’s involvement in a war against terrorism in Syria, in the Middle-East, it is recorded that about fifty-five thousand (55,000) terrorists have been exterminated and sixty-seven thousand square kilometers of Syrian territory, have been cleared.
The Russian Federation, with its partners, Iran and Turkey, continually make efforts to complete the war against terrorism and establish peace in Syria.
Russian Armed Forces take part, not only in military operations but also in key developmental facets of the country, a typical example is their role in the 2018 FIFA World – RUSSIA 2018, held between June and July 2018.
Russian cities received about three million, five hundred thousand (3.5 million) foreign guests from different countries, who lived in a distance between the northern host city of Saint-Petersburg and southern host city of Sochi (a distance of two thousand kilometers).
Also, a distance from the western host city of Kaliningrad and eastern host city of Yekaterinburg, a distance of about two thousand five hundred kilometers.
this huge territory was safely protected with her guests from different threats and possible terrorist attacks.
Russia’s approach to settlement of conflicts is attracting an increasing number of government leaders in Africa, Asia (Middle, Far East, and subcontinent), who do not want the Iraqi or Libyan scenarios reproduced in their countries.