New satellite imagery shows that Moscow is continuing to supply the Wagner Group in Libya with fighter aircraft, armoured vehicles, air defence systems, and supplies, US Africa Command (AFRICOM) said in a statement July 24.
The Wagner Group is a paramilitary organisation that serves the agenda of Russian President Vladimir Putin, allowing the Kremlin to advance its interests and carry out its hybrid warfare under a cover of plausible deniability.
The imagery shows Russian military cargo aircraft, including IL-76's, supplying Wagner mercenaries, as well as Russian air defence equipment, including SA-22's, near the front lines in Libya in mid-July.
"Russia continues to play an unhelpful role in Libya by delivering supplies and equipment to the Wagner Group," said US Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, AFRICOM director of operations. "Imagery continues to unmask their consistent denials."
Earlier this month, AFRICOM released images showing how the Wagner Group indiscriminately laid land mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in and around Tripoli, Libya.
In May, AFRICOM provided extensive visual evidence that Moscow deployed fighter aircraft to Libya in order to support military strongman Khalifa Haftar and the Wagner Group.
Moscow's bid to take over the country has become an increasing embarrassment to Putin, amid reports of rifts between Haftar and the mercenaries and a series of battlefield losses by Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA).
Because Russia is a state sponsor of terrorismReply