About 1,600 fighters of private military company (PMC) Wagner left the war zone in western Libya, Anadolu agency reports with reference to Mohammed Kununu, a representative of Libyan government forces.
According to him, PMC employees involved in the Libyan conflict on the side of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar departed from Beni Walid airport near Tripoli on board two military transport aircraft. Their destination remains unknown.
It was previously reported that the UN counted the number of Wagner PMC fighters in Libya. According to the organization, between 800 and 1200 PMC mercenaries are fighting on Haftar's side.
Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations, Taher M. El-Sonni, tweeted a video of the evacuation of foreign mercenaries from an airfield near the city of Beni Walid to the south-east of Tripoli. According to the diplomat, the mercenaries captured on the video fought on the side of the Libyan National Army (LNA) Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar. "The initial reports say that they are members of the Wagner group," El-Sonni wrote.
PMC Wagner is an unofficial armed group, which is associated with St. Petersburg-based businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin. Its mercenaries, as it is believed, provide security services in several African countries. Reportedly, they also took part in the hostilities in Donbass, Syria and Sudan, where they were sent to support President Omar al-Bashir.
In February, Turkish President Recep Erdogan accused the Russian military leadership, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, of waging a war in Libya with the participation of mercenaries. Erdogan referred to a photograph depicting Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu, chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia Valery Gerasimov, Libyan field marshal Khalifa Haftar, and someone else, whom Erdogan called the head of PMC Wagner. The Russian Foreign Ministry flatly declined the accusations.
Americans have reproached Russian President Vladimir Putin for deliberately picking a pretty translator for his meeting with then-President of the United States Donald Trump