On top of its involvement in Libya and the Central African Republic, Russia could be tempted to muscle in on the Chadian scene via the transition, a prospect that worries France given the anti-French messages that have cropped up in recent protests in the capital.
Prime Minister Abdelhamid Dabaiba and Presidential Council Vice-President Musa Koni are competing to control Libya's far south after the FACT rebel attack and the death of Chadian President Idriss Déby. The PM is pro-Turkish, while Koni is close to Khalifa Haftar.
Russian private security firm Wagner has stepped up equipment deliveries to CAR's armed forces over recent days, using a range of large cargo plane brokers. The logistics escalation comes as rebels threaten the 27 December presidential poll.
At the request of the United States, American contractor Mission Essential plans to take on more Russian, Chinese and Turkish interpreters. Its aim is to gather more information about the activities of the three powers concerned in East Africa and elsewhere on the continent.
Over the last fortnight the Chadian government has been following with concern the situation in neighbouring Libya, where the military setbacks of General Haftar could leave hundreds of Chadian rebels at a loose end and capable of posing a threat to N'Djamena.