Russian President Dmitry Medvedev described on Thursday the situation in Libya as moving toward the civil war.
“Libya has been and is on the brink of a civil war, and our task was to save the lives of our citizens [there],” Medvedev said during a meeting with Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Russia completed on Wednesday the evacuation of its citizens from the North African country, where at least 2,000 people are believed to have been killed in violent clashes between troops loyal to the country’s long-standing leader, Muammar Gaddafi, and opposition protesters and rebel forces.
“This was a large-scale and complicated operation,” Medvedev told Shoigu, referring to the evacuation of the Russians from Libya.
The Russian Embassy in Tripoli reported earlier on Thursday that Russia had evacuated 520 Russians and 593 foreign nationals from Libya.
“A complete disintegration in state governance usually occurs during such events, which is what we have seen in Libya,” Medvedev said.
The unrest in Libya began on February 15, following the recent ouster of authoritarian regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. Libyans are demanding an end to Gaddafi’s 42-year rule.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague on Thursday opened a probe into the role of Gaddafi and his top aides in atrocities allegedly committed in the crackdown on protesters.
ICC Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told reporters in Amsterdam that the investigation could take several months.