While Russia’s relationship with Africa goes back decades, to the continent’s anti-colonial struggles, the past few years have seen a resurgence in relations. The 2019 Russia–Africa Summit is only the most visible sign that the Putin regime is interested in reawakening relations with African countries. This is driven by declining global oil prices and continuing sanctions against Russia. This report takes a closer look at two examples of resurgent Africa–Russia relations: Zimbabwe and Mozambique. It gives a detailed mapping of Russian activities in these two countries, and shows how they have developed over time. While Russian actors are involved in a large number of projects in Zimbabwe and Mozambique, the main focus is on three sectors: the extractive industries, the arms trade, and political cooperation. Russian involvement in Zimbabwe has been driven by, and gained momentum from, both countries’ status as targets of Western sanctions. Mutual attempts to evade these sanctions have boosted the relationship, which has been cemented by high-level corruption. While Mozambique has more international options than its neighbour, elite–elite relationships play a key part in its dealings with Russia. This includes shadowy collaboration in the military and political realms. In addition, Russian actors have played significant roles in both countries’ elections, with contentious results. Thus, while Russia’s involvement in African countries like Mozambique and Zimbabwe is considerably narrower and more elite-directed than, for example, that of China, it is still becoming a notable player in Southern Africa, and one that deserves more attention.