Russia offered technical assistance in situation around Renaissance Dam

08/07/2020 – The dam is supposed to become the largest in Africa, consisting of 15 radial-axis hydraulic units.

Russia has offered its technical assistance to the countries involved in the dispute over Ethiopia’s construction of the Renaissance Dam on the Blue Nile River, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday. He was speaking after talks with the foreign ministers of the troika of the African Union (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, South Africa) that were held in a video format. »We offered the participants of the conflict our assistance, in particular technical assistance. There are things that can be useful. They know about it, » Lavrov said. Continuer à lire … « Russia offered technical assistance in situation around Renaissance Dam »

Libya’s LNA ready to sign ceasefire agreement but Tripoli is unwilling — Lavrov

08/07/2020 – The Libyan National Army (LNA) is ready to sign the immediate ceasefire treaty, but the government in Tripoli is unwilling to do so, as it counts on the military solution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Wednesday following the videoconference with his counterparts from the African Union trio (Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt and South Africa). Continuer à lire … « Libya’s LNA ready to sign ceasefire agreement but Tripoli is unwilling — Lavrov »

Russia increases flights to eastern Libya

Itamilradar, a website that tracks military flights, said it had tracked several flights operated by Russian Air Force aircraft to eastern Libya.

The website added that up to eight flights per day have been registered since February, all operated via Latakia, Syria.

The aircraft used were Tupolev Tu-134, Tu-154 and Ilyushin Il-76.

The website also tracked a Syrian Air Force Ilyushin Il-76 flying from Syria to Libya on Tuesday.

Both Russia and Syria are strong backers of warlord Khalifa Haftar.

Libya Observer

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

Russia restores operation of embassy in Libya. The Russian mission in the country was evacuated in 2013 following an attack.

05/07/2020 – Russia made a decision to restore operation of its embassy in Libya, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Friday during his meeting with Speaker of the House of Representatives of Libya Aguila Saleh. Continuer à lire … « Russia restores operation of embassy in Libya. The Russian mission in the country was evacuated in 2013 following an attack. »

Syrian and Russian aircraft monitored at Libyan airbase operated by the UAE

Air traffic monitoring websites have reported the arrival of cargo planes from Russia and Syria at a Libyan airbase operated by the United Arab Emirates. The reports coincide with accusations made by a former UN envoy that the international body is being hypocritical in its handling of the Libyan crisis. Continuer à lire … « Syrian and Russian aircraft monitored at Libyan airbase operated by the UAE »

Tunisian President: The conflict in Libya is now between two « American and Russian » empires.

30/06/2020 – The Tunisian President, Qais Saeed, said, Sunday, that the problem and conflict in Libya are between two « American and Russian » empires, stressing that his country will never accept the division of Libya. « Saeed » added in press statements that his country paid a heavy price for this endless war, financially and securityly, even within its political classes, as if the Libyan problem was Tunisian-Tunisian. The Tunisian president reiterated his proposal, which is to hold a meeting between all representatives of the Libyan tribes with the aim of drafting an interim constitution allowing the organization of public authorities in the country, then preparing a new constitution acceptable to all Libyans.


Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali)

Russian nuclear group proposing small modular reactors for Africa

30/06/2020 – Russian State-owned nuclear group Rosatom is highlighting the potential benefits to African countries provided by small modular reactors (SMRs). The group has accumulated 400 reactor-years of experience in operating small reactors, including those onboard Russian nuclear-powered icebreakers, small nuclear power plants (NPP) on land, and on a floating NPP. Continuer à lire … « Russian nuclear group proposing small modular reactors for Africa »

Russia sending reinforcements to help Haftar in Libya

30/06/2020 – Private military contractors from Russia helped Haftar take control of Libya’s largest oil field, says Wall Street Journal.

Russia is sending reinforcements to Libya to help warlord Khalifa Haftar, according to a report published Monday. Continuer à lire … « Russia sending reinforcements to help Haftar in Libya »

Wagner Group in Libya: Weapon of War or Geopolitical Tool? By : Sergey Sukhankin


On June 9, Russian Special Presidential Envoy for the Middle East and Africa Mikhail Bogdanov dismissed the presence of Russian mercenaries in Libya and their military support of the Libyan National Army (LNA). The diplomat stated that, “Information spread by some foreign sources, including the U.S. State Department, that the Wagner Group’s members are present in Libya and participate in combat actions on the side of the Libyan National Army of Khalifa Haftar, largely relies on fabricated data and is aimed at discrediting Russia’s policy on Libya” (Tass, June 9). This statement sharply contrasts with a myriad of reputable sources, including, among others, U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), which claimed that no less than 2,000 Russian mercenaries are fighting on the side of the LNA (Libyan Express, June 16). While the presence of the Wagner Group in Libya is undeniable, one important transformation has to be noted. Between 2018-2020, the group`s mission seems to have shifted from a “weapon of war” to a “tool of geopolitics”.

Wagner on the Retreat

Supported by Turkey, the counter-offensive launched by the Government of the National Accord (GNA) resulted in a series of military defeats for the LNA forces, causing the Wagner Group to retreat from the frontline eastward (Middle East Eye, June 6). However, this retreat had started much earlier and by no means is a signal of Russia’s ultimate withdrawal from Libya. On January 12, the Commander of the Special Military Operations Room, Support Force – Tripoli (SFT), Nasser Ammar, claimed that Russian mercenaries started to withdraw toward al-Jufra airbase. At the time, he noted, more than 500 Russian mercenaries (and over 1,000 Janjaweed militants) were located in/near the Salah Al-Deen, Yarmouk, Khallatat, and Abu Salim frontlines (Libya Observer, January 12). By the end of May, the exodus of Wagner fighters was obvious with reportedly, “1,500 to 1,600 mercenaries” fleeing from the front lines to Bani Walid and further eastward (Al Jazeera, May 25; Daily Sabah, May 27).

The roots of this withdrawal stem from three issues. First, Wagner and the LNA are militarily inferior due to the emergence of Turkish advanced weaponry—primarily unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) (, May 22). Second, Russians face rising issues with Haftar, who has reportedly accused Russians of sending, “not so experienced [fighters] from Syria, Belarus and Serbia” and failing to fulfill his contractual obligations of paying approximately $150 million to the Wagner Group (Libya Observer, May 14). Third, Russia is using mercenary forces as leverage to make Haftar—who has unnerved Moscow on several occasions—more docile (YouTube, June 16).

The New Face of the Wagner Group?

Despite the retreat from the frontline, no information on the Wagner Group pulling out of the country, or wider Russian withdrawal, has emerged. On the contrary, Russia has increased its involvement in Libya in two primary ways.

First, Russia has increased its recruitment mechanisms with Russian non-state actors—including representatives of Wagner—becoming closely involved in recruiting Syrian fighters that are transported to Libya to fight on the side of the LNA (Libya Observer, January 6).

According to Turkish sources, Russia has been involved in recruiting militants from Quneitra governorate, Syria. One such group accounts for 300-400 fighters who were reportedly brought to Libya between April and early May (, April 15). Other sources suggest that the “trilateral cooperation” (Russia-Syria-LNA) on recruiting and transporting mercenaries to Libya is accomplished via the Eastern Libyan Embassy in Damascus that re-opened in March 2020 (, March 3). Syrian sources have argued that the main “recruiting centers” are operating in Homs, Damascus, Khama, Daraa, and As-Suwayda. In total, no less than 1,500 militants have been recruited through these centers with the help of the Wagner Group and its representatives. Many of them are “Well trained servicemen and professionals from special forces”—although this information is questioned by other sources (, April 28).

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that “More than 900 Syrians were recruited by Russia to fight in Libya in May [alone], with fighters being trained in Homs before going to Libya” (Al Araby, June 7). Interestingly, some sources have gone even further, arguing that the recruitment process in Syria is headed not merely by non-state actors, but Russian officials. Specifically mentioned is Colonel Alexander “the Godfather” Zorin, who in 2016 served as the Russian defense ministry’s envoy to the Geneva-based task force on cessation of hostilities in Syria. Zorin acquired fame in Syria by taking part in some “peace-building” missions in Ghouta, Daraa, and Quneitra (, June 14, 2017). An unnamed Russian source has claimed that Zorin arrived in southern Syria in April on a recruiting mission, where he held talks with a number of militant factions, some of whom declared a willingness to fight in Libya (Foreign Policy, May 5).

Second, Russia is expanding its covert military-technical cooperation with the LNA by sending (via Syria) at least 14 MiG-29s and several Su-24s, whose images were captured by USAFRICOM (, June 18). This transfer has been challenged by Russian sources that dispute the number of fighter jets in May (, June 5). For now, however, there is no record proving these fighter jets have performed any military missions.


By expanding its control to the realm of recruitment and intensifying military-technical cooperation, Russia has profoundly increased its role in the LNA`s combat capability. This, along with manipulations by Wagner mercenaries (arguably, the most capable part of the LNA forces), allows Moscow to exert pressure on the LNA leadership by becoming the de facto power behind the LNA forces. As argued by Kirill Semenov, “[I]n case of necessity, military contractors will likely be ordered to withdraw from the front to make him [Haftar] more cooperative” (Al-Monitor, May13). Indeed, it is legitimate to say that the Wagner Group has become a tool, allowing “Moscow to have a say in the Libyan conflict” (Libya Observer, January 6).

The Jamestown Foundation

Sahel-Elite (Bamako-Mali) | Image: Soldiers from the Wagner Group (source:


Drah confirms arrival of six Russian air defense systems in Sirte #Libya

27/06/2020 – The Spokesman for the Sirte-Jufra Military Operations Room, Brigadier-General Abdel-Hadi Drah, confirmed on Friday the arrival of six anti-aircraft Pantsir air defense systems to the city of Sirte, arriving from Russia. Continuer à lire … « Drah confirms arrival of six Russian air defense systems in Sirte #Libya »