- Russian mercenaries are in Libya.
- The Russian mercenaries are fighting on behalf of Haftar.
- The Kremlin is interested in advancing its geopolitical agenda in Africa.
Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi was murdered in 2011. There after, Libya became a divided state. Gaddafi, commonly known as Colonel Gaddafi, was a Libyan revolutionary, politician, and political theorist. Shortly after his death, it was announced that the war in Libya was over. In reality, the war mutated with a new trajectory.
The authorities in the Eastern part support Khalifa Haftar, who has been trying to gain control of Tripoli since April 2019 from Fayez al-Sarraj. Both parties are perceived as tainted.
The Libyan operation is part of the Kremlin’s global strategy to weaken the West and confront the United States. The success of the operation to rescue Bashar al-Assad in Syria clearly inspired Putin to try to expand his influence in the Middle East.
Libya is an excellent North African springboard, all the more valuable because it is the main starting point for hundreds of thousands of migrants seeking to enter the European Union from Africa and parts of the Middle East. Moscow, which considers its Syrian “contribution” to the migration crisis of 2015 politically successful, sees control over Libya as another tool for influencing the EU through the threat of a repeat of the chaos of five years ago.
Russia is also interested in the oil fields of Northern Libya, which are largely under the control of the Haftar forces. Interestingly, private mercenary activity is prohibited under Russian laws. Nevertheless, Wagner company mercenaries operate with the Putin’s blessing and aid the Kremlin in furthering its agenda. They also provide employment opportunities for young males from Russia’s depressed regions.
Officially, Russia does not take part in the fighting that has been going on in North Africa for several years. But in fact, the Russian military is providing large-scale assistance to one of the parties to the conflict. In return, the Russian ally in Libya promised to give Russia oil, railways, and highways.
A majority of western media outlets claim that Russian private mercenaries from Wagner are fighting in Libya on the side of Haftar. This weekend alleged documentary evidence appeared via a Soviet Era birth certificate of one of the fighters. However, the birth certificate is under a female name. It is highly unlikely the fighter is transgender. The published “certificate” contains a photo of a man with a rather characteristic Eastern appearance, and a birth certificate is attached to the picture. However, it is written out to Levchenko Inna Nikolaevna, who was born in 1978 in the Voroshilovograd in Ukraine.
There are only two plausible explanations:
1) The ID exists to protect the real identity of the Russian national, but secretly ID him if needed after death.
2) The birth certificate is planted. However, that would not exclude the presence of Russian mercenaries in Libya.
The Russian private military campaign of Wagner last month accelerated the recruitment of Syrians to participate in the fighting in Libya on the side of the leader of the Libyan National Army, Khalifa Haftar, according to the media citing sources in the Syrian opposition. It is claimed that Wagner allegedly does its hiring under the control of the Russian army. Reuters citing unnamed sources claims that Wagner sent Syrians to Libya in 2019.
The presence of mercenaries in Libya is supposedly financed by businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as “Putin’s cook.” It is now confirmed by a document that the Security Council is preparing. There are also lists that became available of fighters in Russian with Arabic names which highly likely could be from Chechnya and other regions from the former Soviet block.
Haftar demanded that the provisions of the The Treaty of Joint Defence and Economic Co-operation of the League of Arab States be applied to counter Turkey’s military intervention in Libya. It is a treaty among the member states of the Arab League signed on June 18, 1950 in Cairo. Egypt has declared its rejection of foreign interference in the affairs of Libya and assured Haftar that Egypt “will not allow any threat to its Western borders.”
Haftar controls a large part of the Libyan territory, including most of the oil fields. Haftar and political structures in the east of the country do not want to recognize the Seraj government. Since April 2019, Haftar has been making attempts to attack Tripoli.
According to Al Arabiya TV, Haftar “asked Egypt to support him in the international arena” to counter Turkey’s military intervention in Libya. Haftar also demanded the lifting of the embargo on the supply of weapons to the LNA and international monitoring to prevent the flow of weapons from Turkey to Libya.
It is no longer a secret that Ankara has long been cooperating with the Sarraj forces, which have occupied the territories of the North African state. Turkey sends mercenaries and military equipment to the North African country. There are plans to “clamp down” on Greece as well. At the same time, Turkey does not hide its intentions.
Not so long ago, a Turkish government newspaper published an application for a license to explore and produce hydrocarbons near the Greek Islands. Erdogan also held a meeting with Sarraj about plans to conduct research and development of oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean sea. Thus far, Turkey has not been reprimanded for its actions or removed from NATO.
It is clear that there will be more information coming out pertaining to Russian mercenary involvement on the African continent.