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On December 19, Libyan activists shared on social media photos allegedly showing “Russian-supplied” battle tanks with the Libyan National Army (LNA).
Activists said the battle tanks, several T-62MVs and at least one T-62M, were supplied by Russia because they carried “Russian markings” which were spotted before in Ukraine and Syria. Tanks with similar markings were seen before with the LNA in Libya.
#Russian T-62MV tanks in the hands of #LNA , not the first time that i found proof of russian equipment in #Libya given to #Haftar directly , recently a whole batch has been recolored to saharah camo others are still green fresh from mother #Russia .#Libya pic.twitter.com/Ifkp41YBTe
— Ouais Hasairi | ⵓⵓⴰⵉⵙ ⵀⴰⵙⴰⵉⵔⵉ | أويس الحصائري (@HasairiOuais) December 19, 2020
The T-62MV is an upgraded variant of the T-62 with the Kontakt-1 explosive reactive armour, ERA.
While Russia may be the original source of these battle tanks, this is not certain. Other countries which are purchasing older weapons for the LNA may be responsible.
Egypt supplied T-55s battle tanks for the LNA in the past. One of the tanks, a variant developed by the Egyptian military, was seized by forces loyal to the Government of National Accord (GNA) in May.
Furthermore, recently it was revealed that the UAE supplied the LNA with Serbian-made LRSVM Morava modular self-propelled multiple rocket launchers.
Regardless of the real source of the battle tanks, the LNA appears to be increasing it offensive capability. The LNA is likely preparing for a new round of clashes with forces of the GNA, which recently received an increased support from Turkey.
- Turkish-backed Forces Are Preparing For New Military Escalation In Libya
- Turkey Is Making Final Preparations To Deploy F-16 Fighter Jets In Libya’s Al-Watiya Air Base