The UN Security Council (UNSC) has faced some of its most significant challenges in recent years. Deadlocks often lead to paralysis, which erodes the perceived legitimacy of the council in effectively responding to global crises. Russia is a key actor in these dynamics, as one of the five permanent members of the UNSC. As a ‘loud dissenter’ in most council discussions, Russia is often thought to have an outsized impact on council outcomes. African states are particularly affected by these dynamics, as most UNSC decisions relate to African conflicts. Therefore, it is vital to reflect on how the continent collectively engages with influential actors in the council, such as Russia. Accordingly, this policy insight reflects on the recent relationship between African member states and Russia in the UNSC. It assesses points of commonality and divergence through a statistical evaluation of voting patterns for 2014–2020. The policy insight argues that Russia’s influence over the African grouping is often exaggerated or misplaced.