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How Vladimir Putin Got Played by a Furious Libyan General

Russia and Turkey attempted to broker a truce in Libya. It didn't go as planned.

The Kremlin complex in Moscow.

The Kremlin complex in Moscow.

Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
Updated on

Khalifa Haftar was expecting the Kremlin red carpet. Instead he was cooped up in a Russian Foreign Ministry reception building hoping for an audience with Vladimir Putin. In the end, the Libyan military commander lost patience and stormed out. Hours later, he left Moscow in his Dassault Falcon corporate jet bound for the Jordanian capital, Amman.

When the Russian president invited Libya’s rival leaders to sign a truce on Monday, it would appear he hadn’t factored in the legendary stubbornness of the 76-year-old Haftar. What’s more, that he felt emboldened to snub Putin is testament to how unpredictable Libya’s civil war has become.