"Asia and Africa today"
- is a scientificl monthly journal (in Russian)
of the Russian Academy of Sciences
Included in Russian Science Citation Index on
WoS platform, and EBSCO Publishing.
ISSN 0321-5075
Published since July 1957.

AFRICA DAY – MAY 25

THE NIGERIAN CIVIL WAR AND THE SOVIET UNION’S INVOLVEMENT INTO THE CONFLICT

DOI: 10.31857/S032150750004750-7

POSIBI A. Preye (Nigeria), Post-graduate student (International Relations and Foreign Policy), People’s Friendship University of Russia ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. )

    The Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War, took place between July 6, 1967 and January 13, 1970, and was a political conflict caused by the attempted secession of the southeastern provinces of Nigeria as the self-proclaimed Republic of Biafra.

This attempt led the young nation into a civil war which resulted in estimated casualties of one million. During the conflict, both the then Federal Military Government of Nigeria and the defunct Biafran regime had the desire to secure diplomatic support as well as military assistance from both the West and the East. This desire coupled with other reasons attracted many countries to declare support and assistance to either the Government of Nigeria or the Biafran regime. The “great powers” sided with opposing parties. The focus of this work is to examine the Soviet Union’s involvement into the conflict and the moves made by Nigerian diplomatic missions in Moscow, analyze the previous relationship between Nigeria and USSR and its development during all stages of the civil war, and venture to understand the reasons underlying this strange and interesting alliance.

Keywords: Nigerian civil war, USSR, international relations, diplomatic support, Soviet involvement