A new investigation conducted by BBC has exposed the extent of military operations by a Russian mercenary group in Libya’s civil war, including links to war crimes and Russia’s military.
The British broadcaster alleged on Aug. 11 that an unidentified member of mercenary group Wagner left behind a Samsung tablet that revealed the groups “key” role in the war, including traceable fighter codenames and frontline maps in Russian.
Russia denies any connections to Wagner.
The tablet also contained evidence of Wagner’s involvement in placing unmarked landmines in civilian areas in Libya, the BBC alleged, adding that the tablet was now in a secure location.
BBC also said that it had acquired a “shopping list” for state-of-the-art military weapons and equipment that was included in a 10-page document dated on Jan. 19, 2020 from a Libyan intelligence source.
The “comprehensive” list included four tanks, hundreds of Kalashnikov rifles, a radar system, and other weapons technology that a military analyst told BBC would only be available from the Russian military.
BBC cited a specialist on Wagner as saying that the list pointed to the involvement of Dmitry Utkin, a former Russian special forces officer believed to be the founder of Wagner.
According to BBC, experts also said that the list and another document suggested the involvement of Yevgeny Prigozhin, a wealthy businessman with close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
However, a spokesperson told BBC that Prigozhin had no involvement to Wagner.
The Russian Foreign Ministry told BBC that the information about Wagner in Libya were “rigged data” and were aimed at “discrediting Russia’s policy” in the North African country,
The ministry also said that it was doing “its utmost to promote a ceasefire and a political settlement to the crisis in Libya.”
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