For decades, Russia and Sudan have maintained a strong economic and politically strategic partnership. Due to solidarity with both the United States and with the Soviet Union and with the allies of the two nations, Sudan declared neutrality and instead chose membership in the Non-Aligned Movement throughout the Cold War. Russo-Sudanese relations were minorly damaged when, in 1971 members of the Sudanese Communist Party attempted to assassinate then-president Gaafar Nimeiry, and Nimeiry pegged the blame on the USSR, thus enhancing Sudanese relations with the West, and were damaged again when Sudan supported the Mujahadeen in Afghanistan when the USSR invaded in 1979. Due to a common enemy, diplomatic cooperation between the two countries dramatically got back on track during the late 1990s and early 2000s, when Vladimir Putin was elected the President, and then the Prime Minister of Russia, and along with Chinese leader Hu Jintao opposed UN Peacekeepers in Darfur. Russia strongly supports Sudan's territorial integrity and opposes the creation of an independent Darfurian state. Also, Russia is Sudan's strongest investment partner (in Europe) and political ally in Europe, and Russia has repeatedly and significantly regarded Sudan as an important global ally in the African continent. For decades there have been Sudanese college students studying in Russian universities.
Amnesty International slammed Russia for breaking the UN arms embargo on Darfur, Russians sold weapons like Mi-24 helicopters, Antonov 26 planes, Russian weapons sales to Sudan totaled 21 million dollars. It was reported these weapons were used to slaughter Darfur civilians. The report said Russia "cannot have been unaware of reports of serious violations of human rights and humanitarian law by the Sudanese security forces, But they have nevertheless continued to allow military equipment to be sent to Sudan." Russia was reported to "have been or should have been aware, several types of military equipment, including aircraft, have been deployed by the Sudanese armed forces for direct attacks on civilians and indiscriminate attacks in Darfur". The Russian planes were disguised as UN Planes which violate the Geneva Conventions. The Janjaweed also used Russian small arms to murder and loot, these Russian weapons spread into neighboring Chad. In 2005 helicopters from Russia were sold to Sudan for 7 million pounds sterling. Photos show Russian helicopters in Darfur.
- Andrei Fedyashin (9 January 2011). "Sudan's impending split". RIA Novosti. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
- Wasil Ali (28 May 2008). "Radio station says Russian pilot killed in Sudan during rebel assault". Sudan Tribune. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
- James Dunnigan (21 June 2008). "Russian Mercenaries Over Africa". StrategyWorld.com. Retrieved January 11, 2011.
- Andrew McGregor (12 February 2009). "Russia's Arms Sales to Sudan a First Step in Return to Africa: Part Two". Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 6 Issue: 29. Retrieved January 30, 2011.
- Nora Boustany (24 August 2007). "New Photos Indicate Arms Flow to Darfur". The Washington Post. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
- "China, Russia deny weapons breach". BBC. 8 May 2007. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
- David Blair (9 May 2007). "Russia and China 'break Darfur arms embargo'". The Telegraph. Retrieved March 9, 2011.
- "Посла России в Судане нашли мертвым". Novaya Gazeta. Al-Arabiya. 23 August 2017. Retrieved 23 August 2017.
- (in Russian) Documents on the Russia–Sudan relationship from the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
- (in English) (in Russian) Embassy of Russia in Khartoum