Russia strengthens military ties to LNA with high-level visit amid death of Wagner leader

Aug 22, 2023 | International actors

On 22 August, a Russian military delegation led by Deputy Minister of Defense Yunus-bek Yevkurov arrived in Benghazi at the invitation of Libyan National Army (LNA) Commander Khalifa Haftar. Upon his arrival at Benina airport, he was received by the Director of the Office of the Commander-in-Chief Khairi al-Tamimi, the Commander of the Joint Operations Room of the LNA Saddam Haftar, the Chiefs of Staff of the Air Force and the Navy, and several other senior officers of the LNA. The main topics of the subsequent discussion included military cooperation (including continued training of LNA personnel in Russia, repair and maintenance of Russian equipment, and the Wagner presence) as well as the fight against international terrorism.

On 24 August, a day after Wagner CEO Yevgeny Prigozhin and several other members of Wagner Group’s senior leadership were killed in a plane crash north of Moscow, Yevkurov assured Haftar that Wagner will continue to provide support to the LNA under its new leadership.