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The facts are just nothing new.

Sudan’s General Dagalo Hemeti has had both long-standing family interests in Sudan’s gold trade, and he has had for some time arrangements with Russian President Vladimir Putin involving Wagner Group oversight of smuggled shipments to Russia that bypass western sanctions and help fund Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.

The west’s hunkering down, bleating about democracy, and pleading for some cessation in violence seems old news as well.

So it goes here for the Sudanese People and others watching the struggles of ordinary good people against thieves taking advantage of their innocence to rob them of their birthright, their dignity, and their humanity. In fact, having displaced the dictator and war criminal Omar al-Bashir, the Sudanese have helped into power, in the course of their powerlessness, two dictators in return, both of them former subordinates to al-Bashir. Of the two, Hemeti may have the more powerful relationship with Putin as he flies off-the-books gold to Russia’s dictator and serves as an envoy — for Putin, a diplomatic channel — to Saudi power as well.

Neither Russians nor Sudanese appear to have today a champion whose interests as well as psychology and temperament reside with them. The present three “strongmen”– al-Burhan, Hemeti, and Putin– appear to represent the evil that enriches and aggrandizes itself while lying without conscience to the nation each purports to represent.


Russia’s meddling in Sudan’s gold began in earnest in 2014 after its invasion of Crimea prompted a slew of Western sanctions. Gold shipments proved an effective way of accumulating and transferring wealth, bolstering Russia’s state coffers while sidestepping international financial monitoring systems.

“The downside of gold is that it’s physical and a lot more cumbersome to use than international wire transfers but the flip side is that it’s much harder if not impossible to freeze or seize,” said Daniel McDowell, sanctions specialist and associate professor of Political Science at Syracuse University.

Elbagir, Nima, Barbara Arvanitidis, Tamara Qiblawi, Gianluca Mezzofiore, Mohammed Abo Al Gheit and Darya Tarasova. Video by Alex Platt and Mark Baron Graphics by Sarah-Grace Mankarious, Marco Chacón, Natalie Croker and Henrik Pettersson. “Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin’s war effort in Ukraine.” CNN, July 29, 2022.

Cited or Related Online

ADF. “Russia Uses Wagner To Plunder Sudan’s Gold.” December 6, 2022.

Al-Arshani, Sara. “The two generals fighting in Sudan helped Putin plunder the country’s gold to fund Russia’s war in Ukraine.” Insider, April 15, 2023.

Cole, Brendan. “U.S. Ambassador Details Waking Up to ‘Gunfire’ as Fighting Erupts in Sudan.” Newsweek, April 15, 2023.

Copnall, James. “Sudan crisis: Burhan and Hemedti – the two generals at the heart of the conflict.” BBC, April 17, 2023.

Dahir, Abdi Latif. “Who is Gen. Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, the head of Sudan’s military?” The New York Times, April 25, 2023.

Dabanga. “Hemeti charts official Sudan policy on Russia-Ukraine conflict.” March 2022.

Dabanga. “Russian FA visit: Putin appreciative of Sudan’s support.” February 10, 2023.

Dabanga. “Hemeti manoeuvres to brand war against Sudan army as fight against former regime Islamists.” April 17, 2023.

Elbagir, Nima, Barbara Arvanitidis, Tamara Qiblawi, Gianluca Mezzofiore, Mohammed Abo Al Gheit and Darya Tarasova. Video by Alex Platt and Mark Baron Graphics by Sarah-Grace Mankarious, Marco Chacón, Natalie Croker and Henrik Pettersson. “Russia is plundering gold in Sudan to boost Putin’s war effort in Ukraine.” CNN, July 29, 2022.

Mackinnon, Amy, Robbie Gramer, Jack Detsch. “Russia’s Dreams of a Red Sea Naval Base Are Scuttled–for Now.” Foreign Policy, July 15, 2022.

NOVA News. “Sudan. who is General ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, the man close to Russia who is behind the attempted coup.” April 16, 2023.

Oppenheim, James S. “Brief Reference: Wagner Group in Africa.” BackChannels, March 28, 2023.

Packer, George. “This Is Not 1943.” The Atlantic, February 3, 2013.

Reuters. “Sudan’s Hemedti seeks deeper Russia ties on Moscow visit.” February 23, 2022.

Walsh, Declan. “‘From Russia With Love’: A Putin Ally Mines Gold and Plays Favorites in Sudan.” The New York Times. June 5, 2022.


Deputy Chairman of Sudan’s Sovereignty Council and commander of the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), Gen Mohamed Hamdan ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo, called on the international community to support the dialogue between Russia and Ukraine. This is the official position of the Sovereignty Council, he said in a statement to the Russian news channel Sputnik yesterday.

Yesterday’s statement followed Hemeti’s statements last week during his Moscow visit, where he declared support for Russia’s invasion by saying that Russia had a right to defend itself and its people.

Dabanga. “Hemeti charts official Sudan policy on Russia-Ukraine conflict.” March 2022.

Hemeti knows Russia invaded Ukraine on a cooked-up pretext on which Putin could fluff himself at least in his own head.


A July 2022 CNN investigation exposed deepening ties between Moscow and Sudan’s military leadership, who granted Russia access to the east African country’s gold riches in exchange for military and political support. The relationship began in earnest after Moscow’s 2014 invasion of Crimea, when Russia began to eye African gold riches as an avenue to circumvent a slew of Western sanctions.

The 2022 invasion of Ukraine and the wave of sanctions that followed accelerated Russia’s gold plunder in Sudan and further propped up military rule, increasing Wagner activity in the country.

On the day before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, Dagalo headed a Sudanese delegation in Moscow to “advance relations” between the two countries.

Elbagir, Nima, Gianluca Mezzofiore, Tamara Qiblawai, Barbara Arvantidis. “Exclusive: Evidence emerges of Russia’s Wagner arming militia leader battling Sudan’s army.” CNN, April 21, 2023.

Addendum: Related Online

Dickens, Olewe. “Mohamed ‘Hemeti’ Dagalo: Top Sudan military figure says coup was a mistake.” February 20, 2023.

Elbagir, Nima, Gianluca Mezzofiore, Tamara Qiblawai, Barbara Arvantidis. “Exclusive: Evidence emerges of Russia’s Wagner arming militia leader battling Sudan’s army.” CNN, April 21, 2023.

Lynch, Justin. “In Sudan, U.S. Policies Paved the Way for War.” Foreign Policy, April 20, 2023.

Uddin Rayhan.”Who is Hemeti? The feared former warlord vying for control in Sudan.” Middle East Eye, April 17, 2023.


Posted to YouTube May 8, 2023.

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