Disinfo: Claims on Russian presence in Libya are based on forged data

Summary

We can say with confidence that the information about “Russian mercenaries” in Libya is mostly based on unverified or forged data aimed at discrediting Russian policy in the Libyan direction. This is clear.

Disproof

A recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the Kremlin-linked mercenary group Wagner presence in Libya, trying to portray information as anti-Russian.

The Wagner Group is a private army with ties to the Kremlin and has been operating in Libya since October 2018, according to a report compiled by independent monitors for the UN's Libya sanctions committee. It is a mercenary outfit engaged in conflicts on the Kremlin’s behalf from Ukraine to Syria to the Central African Republic. Bloomberg and Reuters have reported that Wagner contractors assist General Khalifa Haftar.

Furthermore, the presence of Russian Wagner Group is an established fact and has been confirmed not only by the Government of National Accord based in Tripoli but also by the US, the UK, the United Nations report which was referenced by media, and the independent Russian outlet Meduza

Additionally, on May 26, 2020, the US Command for Africa (AFRICOM) reported the presence of Russian warplanes in Libya, confirmed by satellite images (see here and here).

See similar cases that the presence of Russian mercenaries in Libya is just a rumour and that Russia was never involved in Libya.

For more information on the Wagner group, see our report on a Russian attempt to hide evidence of its existence and activities.

publication/media

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  • Reported in: Issue 213
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 21/09/2020
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Libya, Russia
  • Keywords: North Africa, Middle East and North Africa, Military, Anti-Russian, Middle East, Foreign mercenaries

Disclaimer

Cases in the EUvsDisinfo database focus on messages in the international information space that are identified as providing a partial, distorted, or false depiction of reality and spread key pro-Kremlin messages. This does not necessarily imply, however, that a given outlet is linked to the Kremlin or editorially pro-Kremlin, or that it has intentionally sought to disinform. EUvsDisinfo publications do not represent an official EU position, as the information and opinions expressed are based on media reporting and analysis of the East Stratcom Task Force.

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Estonia again on the way to war against Russian language

The Estonian Reform Party has presented in Parliament a bill on the complete elimination of Russian-language education in schools and kindergartens.

Estonia is purposefully and consistently being built in a way in which, contrary to the constitution and ratified international conventions, the interests and rights of national minorities are ignored. The situation is getting worse every year.

Disproof

The Kremlin and the pro-Kremlin media have for a long time used disinformation narratives that portray Baltic states as dictatorial regimes practicing discrimination against Russian minorities and forcing Russians to speak local languages.

The draft bill in question has not been approved by the Estonian parliament.

Denmark opened brothels for zoophiles

They have opened a first [brothel] for zoophiles in Denmark. It functions officially, one can come there and, I don’t know, rape a tortoise. Idiots! And they are trying to teach us!

Germans are implementing a program, designed by an American, where one can come into a kindergarten and touch children.

Italy adopted a law, which says that if one is investigating a pedophile, one can be fined with 2000 euros [for slander]. And they want us to follow in their steps.

Disproof

Recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about alleged moral degradation of the West.

See a previous related disinformation claim that Denmark was legalizing sexual abuse of animals.

Hiding the truth about MH-17 crash is beneficial to the Netherlands

Hiding the truth about the plane crash is beneficial to the Netherlands. Because, if the plane crash was caused by an explosive device onboard, the responsibility falls on the Netherlands, since the airliner took off from the Dutch airport Schiphol.

Disproof

One of the numerous unfounded conspiracy theories attempting to discredit the Joint International Investigation of the downing of the flight MH17.

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT), which is comprised of Dutch Public Prosecution Service officials and the Dutch police, along with police and criminal justice authorities from Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and Ukraine, has concluded that flight MH17 was shot down on 17 July 2014 by a missile of the 9M38 series, launched by a BUK-TELAR, from farmland in the vicinity of Pervomaiskiy. At that time, the area was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. The BUK-TELAR was brought in from the territory of the Russian Federation and subsequently, after having shot down flight MH17, was taken back to the Russian Federation. The Dutch-led Joint Investigation Team (JIT) has concluded that the BUK-TELAR used to down MH17 originates from the 53rd Anti Aircraft Missile brigade, a unit of the Russian army from Kursk in the Russian Federation.