Russian private security firm says it had armed men in east Libya
This is an automatic summary, original reduced by 80%.
MOSCOW A force of several dozen armed private security contractors from Russia operated until last month in a part of Libya that is under the control of regional leader Khalifa Haftar, the head of the firm that hired the contractors told Reuters.
Oleg Krinitsyn, owner of private Russian firm RSB-group, said he sent the contractors to eastern Libya last year and they were pulled out in February having completed their mission.
Asked whether the mission had official blessing from Moscow, Krinitsyn said his firm did not work with the Russian defense ministry, but was "Consulting" with the Russian foreign ministry.
The contractors did not take part in combat, Krinitsyn said, but they were armed with weapons they obtained in Libya.
Krinitsyn, the owner of the company which hired the contractors for Libya, was an officer of the Russian border guard service based in Tajikistan, on the border with Afghanistan, where he said he gained battlefield experience.
The diplomats say there is a more hawkish camp, centered on the Russian defense ministry and some people in the Kremlin, which favors backing Haftar to establish control over the whole of Libya.
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