The United States (US) Department of Defense said Russia’s Wagner Group had recruited mercenaries from Libya and Syria to fight for Moscow in Ukraine.

A top US Defense Official said he couldn't give an accurate number or location of the mercenaries, adding that there were no further details about Russia’s recruits.

The New York Times revealed last March the readiness of Russian mercenaries, who had combat experience in Syria and Libya, to take an active role in the war on Ukraine, while British media reports also said that the Wagner Group had withdrawn 1000 mercenaries from Libya to send them to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov, said earlier that Wagner's presence in Libya was on a commercial basis, as the private security company was invited by the House of Representatives in Tobruk.