On Monday, the owner of Russia’s Concord Company, Yevgeny Prigozhin said he would be supporting the two Russian social scientists recently freed in Libya, after 18 months in captivity.
The Russian businessman said he will pay about $500,000 in total for the two men. “Russians don’t abandon their own!” Prigozhin said in a statement on the social media network Vkontakte.
Russian sociologist Maxim Shogali, and his translator Samir Seifan were arrested in Libya in May 2019 on charges of vote meddling. They were released on 10 December and are due to return to Russia. The arrest has exposed tensions between the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord’s (GNA) Ministry of Interior, and the Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj.
Russia has strongly criticised Turkish support for the GNA, and its military presence in Libya.