Haftar-led forces have been scandalized long time ago regarding the support they are receiving from foreign countries like the UAE, Egypt, and France.

The owner of a Russian firm RSB-group, Oleg Krinitsyn, said a force of several armed private security contractors from Russia operated until last month in a part of Libya that is under the control of the leader of Dignity Operation, Khalifa Haftar, reported Reuters.

Russian policy-makers see Haftar as a strongman who can end the six years of anarchy that followed the ousting of Muammar Gaddafi.

The presence of the military contractors was, according to the head of the firm, a commercial arrangement. It is unlikely though to have been possible without Moscow's approval, according to people who work in the industry in Russia.

The head of the firm that hired the contractors told Reuters that he sent the contractors to eastern Libya last year and they were pulled out in February having completed their mission.

Hafatr visited Moscow twice last year, meeting with the Russian Defense Minister and Foreign Minister as well as the Deputy Foreign Minister and the Secretary of the Security Council of Russia.

Last January, Haftar was given a special tour on the Russian aircraft carrier, Admiral Kuznetsov, which was returning from Syria. He met with the Russian Defense Minister via a private video conference.

In response to Russia-Haftar growing relationship, the Head of the Presidential Council of the UN-proposed government, Fayez Al-Sirraj, paid a visit to Moscow in early March along with a delegation from his government, calling for a clear stance by Russia regarding Libya's status quo; particularly its ties to Haftar.

When in Russia, Al-Sirraj criticized Haftar and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aqilah Saleh, accusing them of getting in the way of the dialogue efforts aiming at ending Libya's political stalemate, especially after Haftar had refused to meet with Al-Sirraj in Cairo last month.

Haftar and his supporters from the Libyan political parties have been trying for a long while to presuade Russia into conducting a military action in Libya analogous to that it is doing in Syria.