35 Russian mercenaries killed fighting for Haftar’s forces in Libya, Latvian media reveals
At least 35 Russian mercenaries have been killed in Libya fighting for the forces of Khalifa Haftar, the independent Russian-language Latvian news website Meduza reported on Wednesday.
Meduza received information from several members of Russian private militias that between 10 and 35 Russian mercenaries had been killed fighting for Haftar.
The families of the dead mercenaries have not received any formal notifications of their deaths from the Russian defence ministry.
Their bodies have not yet been returned to Russia, acccording to one of Meduza’s sources.
Another source said that Haftar had been very impressed by Russia’s 2015 intervention in the Syrian conflict, and that he had promised Russia contracts in the Libyan oil and railway sectors in return for military assistance.
Russia had initially been sceptical of Haftar’s offer but provided informal and secret assistance later on, according to the source.
Russian mercenaries began to receive offers to come to Libya to fight shortly after Haftar had visited Moscow in 2018.
Photos of Russian mercenaries in Libya began to be published on social media shortly afterwards.