Russian Radio “Liberty” has confirmed that a Russian mercenary fighter was killed on January 27 in Libya as he was fighting for Khalifa Haftar’s militias.
The 39-year-old marine, Vladimir Skopinov, who different Russian media posts he was working for Wagner Group as a mercenary fighter in Libya and before that in eastern Ukraine in Donbass, was the second Russian to be killed in Libya.
Wagner Mercenaries; Saudi Money
Bloomberg reported in last September that Russian mercenaries from Wagner Group were fighting for Haftar in Tripoli as many media outlets said their numbers varied and the number of their deaths amounted to between 10 and 30.
Le Monde said last week Saudi Arabia had funded the mercenary operations of Russian Wagner Group in support of Khalifa Haftar in Libya.
The French paper added in a report made by correspondents from Russia and Turkey that between 300 and 2000 Russian mercenaries had played a pivotal role in the attacks waged by Haftar’s militias on Tripoli in late 2019, adding that 30 of them were killed.
Le Monde added that Haftar resorted to Moscow since 2015 promising Russia with oil and railway projects in Libya, yet he received the Russian support in 2017, before Moscow had decided to send Wagner Group mercenaries to help Haftar in his war on Tripoli.
“The support for Haftar comes from the Russian Defense Ministry, which denies cooperation with Wagner.” Le Monde added.
Confessions from Haftar’s Camp
In December, pro-Haftar pilot Amer Al-Jagam, who had been detained by forces under the command of the Government of National Accord as his warplane was downed in southern Al-Zawiya, said Russian Wagner Group mercenaries are working in coordination with the Tarhouna Operations Room.
“One group of the Russian is responsible for mortar rockets, another is responsible for howitzer rockers, and yet a third group is made of snipers.” Al-Jagam added.
He revealed that there are two air-defense and electronic warfare systems in Tarhouna city operated by Russians, adding that there is a group of French experts working on logistical support, surveillance and wiretapping.