Andrey Medvedev, a former commander of the Russian mercenary group Wagner who recently fled to Norway, has been arrested by police, he told the Guardian on Monday.
Medvedev’s Norwegian lawyer Brynjulf Risnes said police decided Sunday night to arrest Medvedev after there were “strong disagreements” with the former Wagner soldier over living conditions in the shelter where he has lived since arriving in Norway .
“He stayed in the safe house on a voluntary basis. If he refuses to be there, they must either let him go or arrest him,” Risnes said.
Risnes added that Medvedev will now be transferred to the temporary detention center.
“I will try to speak to the police and of course we will find a solution,” said the lawyer.
In a brief phone call to the Guardian, Medvedev confirmed that he had been arrested and expressed concern that he would be deported to Russia.
Earlier on Monday, Norwegian police announced that Medvedev was in custody.
“He has been arrested… and we are considering whether to apply for a court order to detain him,” Norway Police’s Line Isaksen told Portal, declining to give further details.
Medvedev, 26, crossed the border into Norway on January 13, where he applied for asylum.
Before fleeing, Medvedev said he witnessed the summary killing of Wagner fighters in Ukraine who were accused by their own commanders of disobeying orders, sometimes in pairs.
He said he was ready to tell everything he knew about the Wagner group, its activities and its leader, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
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Medvedev is the first known Wagner Group soldier who fought in Ukraine to escape abroad.
The US said last Friday that Wagner, who played a central role in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, would be labeled a major “transnational criminal organization.”Wagner mercenary group to be labeled ‘transnational criminal organization’, says US – Video