Russia's Libyan Front

Inside the Wagner Group

Russia's Libyan Front The Wagner Group is a shadowy Russian private military contractor renowned for their secrecy and brutality. Now, two former employees have unveiled the motivations of those who join the mercenary group.
When General Khalifa Haftar launched an assault on the Libyan government in April 2019, he was not acting alone: another group was aiding him. 'We learnt their identities. They were mainly Russians, or from countries of the former Soviet Union', says Major General Osama al-Juwaili. The mercenaries in the Russian Wagner Group have been accused of war crimes - including mining and booby-trapping civilian houses - and have access to weapons so sophisticated, they are alleged to be Russian military supplies. 'They were using weapons we weren’t used to facing', says artillery commander Haitham Waifalli. Speaking under a fake name, one former Wagner Group mercenary gives an account of the group's aims: 'it’s a structure aimed at promoting the interests of the state beyond our country’s borders. It’s designed to execute special tasks. And that means conducting military operations'. Asked about his motivations for joining the group, another anonymous former member explains: '[I did it for] Money. I had already been in the Donbass as a volunteer. I no longer thought of the romance of war. I had already understood what war is. But I simply needed the money'.

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