Russian mercenaries are taking part in the war in Libya. Since the overthrow of the country's leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, the country has been in civil war. Libya’s capital Tripoli, controlled by the internationally recognized Government of National Accord, was besieged by the Libyan National Army headed by General Khalifa Haftar. Russian mercenaries are taking part in the conflict on Khalifa Haftar’s side, reports Conflict Intelligence Team (CIT).
CIT investigators were able to examine photos of the personal belongings of one of the Russian mercenaries fighting on the side of the Libyan National Army. The items were left behind after Libyan government forces carried out an airstrike on the areas near Tripoli airport. The bank card, left at the site of the airstrike, belongs to Russian Vadim Bekshenev. According to social media reports, he probably served in the Russian Baltic Fleet Marine Corps, and then, in the so-called Private Military Company Wagner, a military group that took part in the fighting in eastern Ukraine and Syria.
Among Bekshenev's photographs, investigators found the Wagner PMC Medal for the “Victory over ISIS”. It’s not known whether Bekshenev survived after the airstrike.
In addition to Bekshenev's photographs, CIT found pictures of people of European appearance in different outfits. A local government-backed group has said that these “Europeans” are Russian military. Investigators were unable to identify the men in the photos, but they were filmed a few kilometers from the site where Russian-made military equipment was found – an armored Ural truck similar to that used by the Wagner PMC in Central African Republic and Syria. Researchers note that this may also indicate that the mercenaries took part in combat.