Saving Ghana's revolution: the demise of Kwame Nkrumah and the evolution of Soviet policy in Africa, 1966–1972

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

On 24 February 1966, Ghana's first president, Kwame Nkrumah, was overthrown in a coup d’état. The coup rekindled a debate within the Soviet bloc about the prospects of socialism in Africa and about the appropriateness of certain policies. Soviet officials concluded that they would have to focus on establishing close relations with the armies and internal security forces of African countries. This article explores how Nkrumah's loyalists in exile and their sympathizers in Ghana attempted to launch a leftwing counter-coup in Accra in 1968 and the involvement of Warsaw Pact countries—notably the Soviet Union and Czechoslovakia—in those events. The article sheds new light on “Operation ALEX,” a botched attempt by the Czechoslovak intelligence service to support Nkrumah loyalists in their plans for a countercoup. The article reexamines the late 1960s as an important period for the militarization of the Cold War in Africa and highlights the crucial role that African politicians themselves played in this process.
LanguageEnglish
Pages4-25
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Cold War Studies
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 22 Feb 2019

Fingerprint

Ghana
coup d'etat
Warsaw Pact
secret service
militarization
Czechoslovakia
exile
socialism
cold war
USSR
military
politician
president
event
Demise
Africa
Revolution
Loyalist
Coup

Keywords

  • Soviet Union
  • Ghana
  • West Africa
  • secret agent
  • Czechoslovakia
  • Cold War

Cite this

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Saving Ghana's revolution : the demise of Kwame Nkrumah and the evolution of Soviet policy in Africa, 1966–1972. / Telepneva, Natalia.

Vol. 20, No. 4, 22.02.2019, p. 4-25.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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