Thursday, January 26, 2023

U.S. Africa Command confirms crash of two MiG-29s in Libya

At least two MiG-29 Fulcrum fighter jets, piloted by Wagner paramilitary contractors, crashed in Libya, according to the U.S. Africa Command.

“U.S. Africa Command deputy intelligence director Rear Adm. Heidi Berg confirms the Russians have crashed two MiG-29s in Libya so far – one on June 29, another on Sept. 7,” tweeted the Pentagon correspondent for AI-Monitor Jared Szuba.

Berg claims that Russian fighter aircraft in Libya have engaged in combat airstrikes. AFRICOM believes the Russian aircraft have been piloted by Russian state-sponsored private military contractors.


U.S. Africa Command assesses that Moscow recently deployed military fighter aircraft to Libya in order to support Russian state-sponsored private military contractors (PMCs) operating on the ground there.

Russian military aircraft are likely providing close air support and offensive fires for the Wagner Group PMC that is supporting the Libyan National Army’s (LNA) fight against the internationally recognized Government of National Accord. The Russian fighter aircraft arrived in Libya, from an airbase in Russia, after transiting Syria where it is assessed they were repainted to camouflage their Russian origin.

It is worth mentioning that in social media was released a video showing a Russian-speaking pilot after their aircraft went down in Libya. As it turned out, this footage does not apply to this incident and was filmed two years ago.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.