On May 31, supporters of the Government of National Accord (GNA) in Libya released photos of what they claimed to be lists of Russian private military contractors (PMCs) fighting for the Libyan National Army (LNA).
The lists were allegedly found by GNA forces in the Yarmouk Camp south of the capital, Tripoli. Heavy clashes between GNA forces and the LNA have been ongoing around the camp for several weeks now.
While GNA supporters claimed that the lists contain names of Russian PMCs, a quick look at the lists reveals that the names are in fact Arabic ones.
List of Russian mercenaries found at Yarmouk Camp in southern Tripoli. pic.twitter.com/CsGiQoqb3R
— Levent Kemal (@leventkemaI) May 31, 2020
The Arabian names were translated to Russian, likely using some translation app (or just via Google Translate). The patronym of each alleged PMC was “Russianized” in a weird, desperate attempt to make the names more Russian.
The names were first written in Arabic order: first name, patronym then surname. In the Russian translation, the format was changed to surname, nameand then a Russianized patronym.
For example, one of the names was changed from Shadi Ali Khalil [شادي علي خليل] in Arabic to Khalil Shadi “Alievich” [Халил Шади Алиевич] in Russian. In official documents, names are not manipulated like this. This is a one more indication that the lists likely were forged by GNA supporters or fighters.
There is no secret that some PMCs operate on the side of the LNA. Nevertheless, their presence is very limited. The GNA, that’s employing more than 11,000 Turkish-backed Syrian militants (many of them linked with various al-Qaeda-style groups), is clearly attempting to exaggerate the issue in order to justify its own reliance on foreign forces.