İrem UZUN -TDO- A UN panel monitoring Libya sanctions said in a report obtained by the AP, AFP, and Reuters news agencies on May 6 that the shadowy group has between 800 and 1,200 military contractors in Libya, including snipers and specialized military teams. The Vagner group is believed to be close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Controlled by Kremlin-linked Russian financier Yevgeny Prigozhin, it is involved in conflicts ranging from those in Ukraine and Syria to African nations. Moscow has denied the Russian state is responsible for any deployments.
U.S. media has previously reported on Vagner deploying to Libya, but this is the first time its presence has been confirmed in a UN report. The 57-page report by independent sanctions monitors, submitted to the UN Security Council Libya Sanctions Committee, said the Russian contractor deployed forces in specialized military tasks, including sniper teams. Its members have been acting as artillery and air observers, as well as "providing electronic countermeasures expertise and deploying as sniper teams". The personnel were mainly Russian, but there were also nationals of Belarus, Moldova, Serbia and Ukraine, the report said according to the BBC.
The report also revealed that Haftar was being supported by Syrian fighters. Haftar has previously opened a consulate in Damascus, where the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is backed by Russia.