Russian mercenaries back Libyan rebel leader as Moscow seeks influence in Africa

Hundreds of mercenaries linked to Russian military intelligence have been backing the rebel commander of Libya’s breakaway eastern half, The Telegraph has learned, as Moscow further expands its presence in Africa. 

The murky private military company Wagner Group has been supporting Khalifa Haftar with 300 personnel in Benghazi and has supplied his Libyan National Army with artillery, tanks, drones and ammunition, a Whitehall source said. 

A source close to the Libyan Russian Oil & Gas Joint Company started in Benghazi in April told The Telegraph that “lots of Wagner fighters went [to Libya], and there are rumours that military personnel also went there”. 

The illegal contractors are “almost interchangeable…

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