Reuters learned of the work of Russian mercenaries in Libya

Dozens of mercenaries from Russia were working in Libya until February 2017, told Reuters the owner of a private military company (PMC) “RSB Group” Oleg Krinitsyn.

The Agency points out that the military were in that part of the country, which is under the control of the commander of the Libyan army of Caliph Haftarot. His powers are not recognized by the United Nations.

Reuters writes that in 2016, the military were sent to the Eastern part of Libya. According to krinitsyna, they had to be cleared industrial facility near the city of Benghazi.

Source Reuters refused to say who hired the “RSB Group” for these purposes. The Krinitsyn also not told whether these operations are coordinated with the UN. At the same time, he stressed that “RSB Group” does not work with the Ministry of defense of Russia, but there were “consultations” with the Ministry of foreign Affairs.

The Krinitsyn said that the soldiers did not take part in the fighting in Libya. He declined to say how many people took part in the operation, but said that in General, the clearance of this type of buildings and their protection needs about 100 people.

According to the head of the “RSB Group,” soldiers of his company faced in Libya with the rebels. According to him, the first was hostile, but after learning that the mercenaries arrived from Russia, have become more friendly.

“Was an uncomfortable situation, but the image created by the [Russian President Vladimir] Putin in Syria, has played a positive role. We realized that in Libya, Russia welcomed more than in other countries,” said krinitsyna.

Military and government officials in Eastern Libya said they were not aware of the ongoing “RSB Group” operations. Haftar did not respond to a request for comment.

Officials in Western Libya, where the UN supported the government, was not available for comment. The foreign Ministry, the Agency said that they are working on comments to Reuters, but can’t give information at the time of publication notes.

The Agency writes that Putin seeks to restore stability in Libya. According to foreign diplomats, the foreign Ministry wants to Haftar joined forces with the UN supported government. However, the Ministry of defence and certain people in the Kremlin are against it, say interlocutors Reuters.

In late November, Haftar arrived on a visit to Moscow. “RIA Novosti” wrote that he met with Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. Haftar also said that he met with representatives of the Ministry of defense. Press Secretary of the President Dmitry Peskov then said that in the Kremlin a meeting with the Libyan General was not planned.

The Russian mercenaries are prohibited by law (article 359 of the Russian Criminal code). A soldier can only work for the state. In an interview with Krinitsin previously stated that these military companies in Russia does not exist, the activity they are abroad.

In early February, Reuters, citing sources in the military and government agencies wrote that in Russia for the treatment of profits, about 70 soldiers from the army of the Haftarot. According to interlocutors of the Agency, this practice can be continued in the future.