War in Ukraine: A former Russian Wagner commander asks for asylum in Norway    FRANCE May 24

War in Ukraine: A former Russian Wagner commander asks for asylum in Norway FRANCE May 24

Published on: 17.01.2023 – 16:05 Modified on: 17.01.2023 – 16:06

A Russian man posing as a former mercenary for the Wagner paramilitary group managed to escape across the Russian-Norwegian border and intends to seek asylum in Norway, his lawyer said on Monday.

A Wagner Group veteran in exile in Norway. Andrei Medvedev, 26, was arrested after illegally crossing the Russian-Norwegian border on the night of January 12-13, his Norwegian lawyer Brynjulf ​​Risnes told AFP on Monday January 16, the clarified that his client would seek asylum in Oslo.

“He is willing to share his experiences within the Wagner group with people who investigate war crimes,” his attorney said. Andrei Medvedev, a former commander of the Wagner paramilitary group fighting in Ukraine, said he fled to Norway to seek asylum in fear for his life after witnessing the killings and ill-treatment of Russian prisoners who were attacked head-on were brought to the front.

The Wagner militia, originally composed of veterans of the Russian army, recruited thousands of common-law soldiers after the Russian offensive launched by Moscow on February 24 against Kyiv on promises of regaining freedom after fighting in Ukraine. prisoners.

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Andrei Medvedev, who joined Wagner on July 6, 2022 on a four-month contract, said in a video published by NGO Gulagu.net that he crossed the border into Norway before being arrested by Norwegian police. While in prison before joining Wagner, he said he left the paramilitary group after witnessing the killing of Wagner recruits who had deserted.

“Fear of dying in excruciating pain”

“I’m afraid I’ll die in excruciating pain,” Andrei Medvedev told Vladimir Osechkin, the founder of Gulagu.net, who says he helped the former soldier leave Russia.

Police earlier said a foreign national was arrested overnight Thursday after illegally crossing the Russian-Norwegian border in the Arctic and seeking asylum.

Andrei Medvedev’s lawyer said he was in the “Oslo area” without giving further details.

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“It is important for him that the immigration authorities clarify his status as soon as possible,” Brynjulf ​​Risnes told Portal. “He says he took part in combat in what he believed to be clear combat situations… and that he had no contact with civilians.”

For his part, the founder of the Wagner group, Evgueni Prigoyine, claimed that Andrei Medvedev worked in one of Wagner’s Norwegian units but “mistreated prisoners”.

With AFP and Portal