Disinfo: Saying that Russian troops are in Libya amounts to baseless accusations


Attempts to accuse Russia of using the conflict in Libya for its own interests and of having its troops there are baseless.


A recurring disinformation narrative regarding Russian presence in Libya.

A private army linked to the Kremlin has been fighting on the front lines of the Libyan war for nearly three months.

The Russian firm Wagner Group is a shadowy mercenary outfit waging secret wars on the Kremlin’s behalf from Ukraine to Syria to the Central African Republic. The Wagner group members are mostly ex-service personnel, fought clandestinely in support of Russian forces in Syria and Ukraine, according to Reuters interviews with dozens of contractors, their friends and relatives.

This is also a recurrent pro-Kremlin narrative that Russian ground troops are not active in Libya or Syria, while there is a wide spectrum of sources disproving this claim.

To know more about the disinformation message regarding the Wagner group, check our report on a Russian attempt to hide all the pieces of evidence.


  • Reported in: Issue 174
  • DATE OF PUBLICATION: 15/11/2019
  • Language/target audience: Arabic
  • Country: Libya, Russia
  • Keywords: North Africa, Military, Hybrid war, Africa, Russophobia


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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White Helmets are part of Al-Qaeda for sure

What does James Le Mesurier’s history have to do with the humanitarian work that is supposed to be the work of the “White Helmets”? Everyone knows that they are part of Al-Qaeda for sure. These people, along with bin Laden’s death, with Baghdadi’s recent killing, all these people are killed because they, first of all, hold important secrets, they have become a burden and their role is over.


Conspiracy theory; no evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about the White Helmets, a humanitarian organisation of volunteer rescue workers also known as the Syria Civil Defense, and their recently deceased founder James Le Mesurier. The White Helmets have documented some of the worst atrocities carried out by the Syrian government and the Russian military, and as a result, Russian and Syrian media have consistently sought to delegitimise them through portrayals as a Western-backed “terrorist organisation".

No evidence is given to substantiate the claim that Le Mesurier has connections to Al Quaeda and/or other terrorist groups. This case, as well as the insinuation that the White Helmets were involved in producing fake evidence of chemical weapons attacks in Syria, are a continuation of smear campaigns against civilian rescuers in Syria that have been circulating in pro-Kremlin media for years.

Washington is likely to launch a war against Russia

There are two scenarios of the US launching war against Russia. The first envisages a US military attack using all available means, including nuclear weapons. The second scenario envisages Russia’s economic isolation in order to induce a “change of political leadership”. The likelihood of combat action is quite real, as Washington may urgently need a “fairly large war”.


This claim involves speculation without evidence. It is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about Russophobia, US/NATO military aggression towards Russia, and alleged US funding of "colour revolutions" in Russia and other post-Soviet states. It also plays into the oft-used narrative that the West wants to conquer and subdue Russia, in order to portray Russia as the victim of unjustified aggression against which it must defend itself.

For similar cases about US and NATO warmongering towards Russia and its neighbours, see here.

Washington needed “fire in Central Europe”

The United States supplied arms to the new regime in Ukraine after the 2014 coup in Kyiv because it was in need of a fire in Central Europe. The Ukrainian regime set the needed fire by launching the war on the people of the Donbas region who rebelled against the Kyiv coup.


Conspiracy theory; no evidence given. This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative painting the 2013-14 protests in Kyiv as a coup orchestrated by the West. It's also a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative undermining the statehood of Ukraine. The message also propagates disinformation about US relations with Ukraine.

Ukraine is recognised by international law as a sovereign nation-state, with its own flag, nationality, language and with a democratically-elected president and parliament. The EU and the US support the democratic development of Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter’s principles of non-interference into internal affairs and respect towards territorial integrity and political independence.