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Hussein Malla / AP

Russia "appears to have deployed" special forces to an airbase in Egypt 60 miles from the border with Libya in the past few days, according to U.S., Egyptian, and diplomatic sources, per a Reuters report.

Last week the U.S. military commander who oversees U.S. operations in Africa, Marine General Thomas Waldhauser, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Russia is trying to once again "exert influence" in the country, which used to be its client state. Waldhauser said a good way to characterize what appears to be happening between Russia and Libya is how Russia has been trying to support Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Why it matters: Russia might be planning to prop up Libyan military commander Khalifa Haftar, which would not be in the best interests of the U.S., according to Waldhauser. That's because Haftar is in a deadlock with the U.N.-backed government in Tripoli.

The Russian defense ministry and the U.S. military did not provide comment for Reuters. Egyptian army spokesman Tamer al-Rifai said "There is no foreign soldier from any foreign country on Egyptian soil. This is a matter of sovereignty."

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”

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