Report on the outcome of a meeting on 22/04/19 with Russian military analysts in the territory

September 12, 2019
Fighters from the self-styled Libyan National Army under the command of Khalifa Haftar (Esam Omran Al-Fetori / Reuters)

This is part of a tranche of internal communications from deep inside infamous caterer turned troll farmer and mercenary backer Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Libya operation, always referred to simply as “the Company.” These files were originally obtained by the Dossier Centre,  a London-based investigative team funded by former Russian oligarch and political prisoner Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Please see our summary in The Daily Beast.

Translator’s note: This document was written on April 22, 2019


To the manager

  1. Khalifa Haftar’s chances of taking Tripoli are assessed as nil. Between 21-22 04, the enemy has actually repelled the LNA in several areas by 10 kilometres. Recently arrived reinforcements from Misrata have entered the battle.This is confirmed by the use against the LNA of anti-tank systems, that would only have been brought to the front from Misrata.

At the same time KH has sent, according to various estimates, 60-70% of his relatively combat-ready units to the west. The LNA has no additional resources for the seizure of the capital, the siege of Sirte or to draw away the forces from Misrata. There also remains an exposed area behind the lines in the south, where an offensive by ISIS and al-Qaeda militants is expected.

The Russian military command has repeatedly asked to be familiarised with the plan to take Tripoli, but it has never been presented. Most likely, it simply doesn’t exist.

The plan to “wear down” Sarraj’s army and his allied groups has actually been turned into the attrition of the LNA itself.

  1. Evidently, the enemy is significantly outmatching the LNA in terms of preparedness, combat capability and the experience of personnel. Regardless of the enormous consumption of ammunition (there are three Il-76 flights are day, delivering Russian munitions from the UAE through Jordan, as well as deliveries from Egypt), the LNA has not had any significant military successes, and is already losing its hard-fought positions. One can judge the command and control quality of the LNA by the following fact: the army has unofficially acknowledged that they recently shot down their own aircraft (the plane, mistaken for an enemy flight, took two missiles fired by troops of the Tariq ibn Ziyad* Battalion, commanded by KH’s son Saddam).
  1. One can say that KH is currently in a state of euphoria due to the diplomatic support of the USA, Russia and France at the UN Security Council, an inaccurately assesses his real capabilities “on the ground.”
  1. The Amazigh, who had earlier refrained from statements of support for any faction in the conflict, have announced their readiness to fight on the side of Sarraj. They have no weapons however, according to their sources, they are prepared to put up 8,000 men and put 5,000 in a mobilised reserve. According to realistic estimates, they have in the order of 1,500 to 2,000 fighters, but this remains a serious threat to the LNA. We add that in conversation with us, a colonel of Khalifa dreamt of “hanging all the Amazigh.”
  1. The LNA command constantly appeals to the Russian troops in Libya with requests to provide weaponry and means of navigation and control (radio-locations systems, Igla missiles, etc), and also to deploy a Russian headquarters in Jufra or Garyan (and ensure their defense from the air with Russian MANPADS) or consulting on operations in the west of the country. We hear the refrain “help us like in Derna.” However the Russian side is not launching any action whatsoever, explaining the impossibility of any participation in combat operations without the sanction of senior command.
  1. Five Russian journalists, amongst them Aleksandr Kots (special correspondent for Komsomolskaya Pravda) and Yevgeny Poddubny (VGTRK), and also a correspondent for RIA Novosti are located in Egypt and are preparing to fly to Benghazi to work with the LNA (they have clearance, the reason for the delay is unknown).
  1. It is known that KH has strained relations with his once closest associate, Abdulrazek al-Nadoori, Chief of the General Staff of the LNA. A possible reason is Nadoori’s extravagant behaviour, travelling around the cities of the east with a cortege of 65 vehicles, which has begun to irritate KH. We add that Nadoori, according to our own information, controls the income from trade and real estate in his home city of Al-Marj. His name has also been linked to contraband cigarettes.

Yours respectfully, Ivan