Skip to main content

New challenges for Moscow with arrest of 'Russian trolls' in Libya

Following the arrest of two Russians by Libyan security forces, the Government of National Accord is trying to sway Moscow away from Khalifa Hifter.

Security forces of Libya's internationally recognized Government of National Accord (GNA) reportedly arrested two Russian men in Tripoli in May, though the arrests were not announced until early July. Tripoli authorities claim that the Russians possessed laptops and memory sticks that revealed their work in a Russian "troll factory" that allegedly sought to influence upcoming elections in Libya and a number of African countries.

The Foundation for National Values Protection, a Russian nongovernmental organization that is a part of Fabrika Trollei — Russian for "troll factory" — confirmed the arrest of two staff members, stating they were apprehended while “carrying out opinion polls.” A letter stamped by the attorney general’s office and later obtained by Bloomberg revealed that the two Russians were involved, with the support of Russian officials, in securing a meeting with Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, the son of Moammar al-Gadhafi.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.