A brand-new investigation by the UK’s state news outlet – BBC – allegedly reveals “the scale of Wagner’s involvement in Libya.”
The mythical “shadowy Russian mercenary group” has reportedly been active there for years, and finally the BBC has reported evidence from a “lost tablet” (not the Indiana Jones ancient artifact type).
“But we had little direct information. The Wagner group is one of the most secretive organisations in Russia. Officially, it doesn’t exist – serving as a mercenary is against Russian and international law. But up to 10,000 operatives are believed to have taken at least one contract with Wagner over the past seven years.
After various verification processes, a BBC team brought the tablet to London. I immediately put it in a signal-blocking bag, so it couldn’t be tracked or wiped remotely,” the BBC wrote.
It is an incredible story, full of turns and twists – if only any of them were actually revealed.
A Samsung tablet was left by an alleged fighter of the PMC – as well as traceable fighter codenames. He simply just forgot it, a member of the mythical PMC of which nobody could ever get a hold of.
And the BBC has a “shopping list” for state-of-the-art military equipment which expert witnesses say could only have come from Russian army supplies.
There was no difficulty to access the files of the world’s most secretive PMC, apparently.
“Remarkably, the information on it was easy to access. I discovered dozens of files – ranging from manuals for anti-personnel mines and improvised explosive devices (IEDs), to reconnaissance drone footage. A number of books had been uploaded – including Mein Kampf, A Game of Thrones, and a guide to making wine.
But it was a maps app that stood out – layers of military maps of the front line, all marked in Russian. Most of the location dots were clustered in the suburb of Ain Zara in south Tripoli, where Wagner fighters had battled with the GNA between February and the end of May 2020.”
According to the BBC’s report, Wagner’s fighters appeared in Libya in April 2019 when they joined the forces of Field Marshal Khalifa Haftar, after he launched an attack on the UN-backed government in the capital, Tripoli. The conflict ended in a ceasefire in October 2020.
The group is notoriously secretive, but the BBC has managed to gain rare access to two former fighters. They revealed what type of person was joining Wagner – and its lack of any code of conduct.
“There is little doubt that they kill prisoners – something one ex-fighter freely admits.”
“No-one wants an extra mouth to feed.”
Still, how members were discovered:
On one of the maps, there was a dot with the title “Metla” (Метла, in Russian).
“We believe one of the fighters – labelled ‘Metla’ on the tablet – is a 36-year-old Russian called Fedor Metelkin from the North Caucasus.
His personal Wagner number, published on the Ukrainian database, is below 3,000. This suggests he joined Wagner fairly early in its operations – five or six years ago – when it was fighting in eastern Ukraine in support of Russia-backed separatists. From what we understand, it’s usual for the same fighters to move from one foreign conflict zone to another.”
No identities of other members are present, but the BBC somehow gained access to two anonymous former Wagner members, who provided details.
“The former fighters explained that men are not recruited to an organisation called Wagner, but instead apply for short-term contracts – for example as oil rig workers or security personnel – with numerous shell companies.
They undergo physical tests and background security checks before moving to Wagner’s unofficial training ground near Krasnodar in southern Russia, which is next to a Russian army base.
They are then sent abroad, on the understanding that if they are killed, Wagner may not be able to repatriate their bodies,” the BBC writes.
It is straight of a clandestine spy movie; it would be no surprise if Tom Cruise’s character from Mission Impossible also ends up being a member.
In addition to the red dots which are allegedly important locations, as well as “Metla” there are black dots. They refer to mines.
“Many of the labels refer to specific types of mine – such as MON-50 or OZM. There are also positions marked as “mined district”, “remote controlled mine” or “stretched out” – which we understand to be slang for booby trap.”
Also stored on the tablet are illustrations of the MON-50 mine – and two other devices of Russian and Soviet origin, the POM-2 and the PMN-2. These weapons are all highlighted in a Human Rights Watch report which points out that none of them have previously been seen in Libya – where there has been an arms embargo for the past decade.
While the tablet gives insight into where and how Wagner was allegedly operating, a separate 10-page document – essentially a “shopping list” of weapons and equipment – gave hints as to who could be funding the organization.
“The document is likely to have been recovered during the fighting in the south of Tripoli. It was given to the BBC by a Libyan intelligence security source in Tripoli, who had been looking into the presence of Wagner in Libya, and specifically into its involvement in the offensive on the capital.”
The document is quite dramatic, with little burn marks around the edges, as if somebody tried to destroy the evidence, but ultimately failed to burn 10 pieces of paper.
Security Adviser Chris Cobb Smith analyzed the documents and said the following:
“I very much doubt that any other private military company (PMC) – if Wagner can be termed as such – has anything close to the support that seems to be available to them here”
“[In the Libya document] Assault Team 6 has a lot of vehicles and would seem to have substantially bigger manpower, so this is probably the principal fighting unit. Total of approximately 300 personnel.
“They requested 300 helmets and 270 night vision goggles and 270 weapons rail mounts.”
“The weapons are, for most part, ‘state of the art’ – that is up to date, technologically advanced, and equipment currently in service with the Russian military.
“This not only implies access to a substantial budget but also the authority for access to the latest sensitive, if not secret, technology. For example, the Ironia and Sobolyatnik radars are relatively new.
“As noted by the requesting officers much of this equipment will require a training programme – a considerable challenge under operational conditions. This indicates rather a lack of foresight and proper prior planning.”
“[Private Military] Companies such as Blackwater etc. may also have a level of sanction by the US Government, but I do not believe they have equipment scales that would stretch to tanks, mortars and UAVs [unmanned aerial vehicles] capable of directing munitions.”
“It appears that Wagner are little more than an unofficial element of the Russian military”
Essentially, Chris Cobb Smithh simply said that the “shadowy PMC” is unprofessional, lack foresight and are simply just a tad bit better than any wing of Russian military.
Another note, allegedly from Mozambique in 2019 requested replacements for damaged equipment from “OOO Evro Polis”.
“Evro Polis is a Russian company reported to be a beneficiary of contracts for oil and gas field developments in Syria.”
Then, the Libyan document mentions “the General Director” who is none other than “Putin’s Chef” Yevgeny Prigozhin. His name isn’t mentioned, there is no evidence to him being related at all, but he was dubbed by MSM as Wagner’s “director” a while ago, and it has stuck.
But, of course, this is also figured out, in the statement by one of the anonymous Wagner mercenaries:
“It’s like in Harry Potter, where Voldemort is the name that is never said aloud. It’s a taboo subject. It’s not worth talking about, or else you might end up in a metal container with a broken face for two weeks.”
In a statement to the BBC, Yevgeny Prigozhin firmly maintained that he has no links to Evro Polis or Wagner.
“I have not heard anything about the violation of human rights in Libya by the Russians and I am sure that this is an absolute lie,” he said.
“My advice to you is to operate with facts, not your Russophobic sentiments.”
Who in MSM could possibly trust that?
The “lost tablet” and the alleged documents as well as statements provide absolutely no new insight into the “Wagner mystery”, they, more or less, repeat the same old story, this time with new pictures and a fancier website.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- The Lack Of Due Process In Ukraine, No Conspiracy Complete Without “Wagner”
- Turkey’s Military Adventure In Libya Continues With The Deployment Of More Syrian Militants