Libya, under the regime of Muammar Gaddafi, was indeed a fairly prosperous country in material terms for some time. In 2010 she occupied in the Human Development Index, a high 53 place (for comparison, Russia was then in 65 place). The country had a high salary by the standards of the region, free medicine. However, the unemployment rate was also high, fluctuating in the range of 20-30%.
But there were also serious problems. The Gaddafi regime harshly suppressed any dissent. According to Johns Hopkins University professor and Middle East expert Fuad Ajami, “fear ruled and paralyzed a country in which revolutionary committees were above the law.”
In addition, there were significant contradictions between the tribes of the two regions of the country – Tripolitania and Cyrenaica. Gaddafi came from Tripolitania, and under him all the leading posts were occupied by his fellow tribesmen. The country also has a Berber ethnic minority – the Amazighs. This nation was severely discriminated against, its language and writing were banned, and it was not even possible to give children Berber names.
From time to time, unrest broke out in Libya, which the regime brutally suppressed. In February 2011, human rights defender Fathi Terbil was arrested in Benghazi, the largest city in Cyrenaica. it caused mass actions demanding the release of political prisoners. 13 protesters were killed by snipers on the rooftops. After that, the rebels captured several cities, the Minister of Internal Affairs Abdel Fattah Younes and some army units went over to their side. In response to the authorities shot protest demonstration from machine guns; according to some reports, they also used artillery and combat helicopters. About 200 people died. Aircraft bombed a military base in Benghazi, the garrison of which supported the rebels.
After that, a full-scale civil war broke out in the country. The rebels captured all of Cyrenaica and launched an offensive against Tripoli. The Amazighs also revolted and captured several cities in their region. In March, the troops of the Gaddafi regime were able to launch a counteroffensive using artillery, tanks and aircraft, they managed to regain control of part of the territory and reach the outskirts of Benghazi.
In this situation, on March 18, 2011, the UN Security Council accepted a resolution establishing a no-fly zone over Libya and allowing the use of any means to protect civilians, except for the introduction of occupying forces into the country’s territory. Russia abstained from voting in the Security Council, having decided not to use the veto right.
On March 19, the French, British and US Air Forces launched an operation against the troops of the Gaddafi regime. In August, with the support of Western aviation, the rebels captured Tripoli. By the end of October, the regime was completely defeated.
Western countries failed to achieve their goal – to end the conflict in Libya, which continues to this day. The next year after the intervention, his victim became even the US ambassador. Undoubtedly, this conflict has caused a large number of refugees in Europe. But the NATO countries have nothing to do with the start of the war, they intervened when the country had actually split into two warring parts, whose forces were approximately equal. “Stable and prosperous” Lavrov called the country where the civil war was raging, where the Gaddafi regime used artillery and aircraft against the opposition.