Ex-Wagner Commander Arrested in Norway for Making an attempt Return to Russia

Photo of author

By Calvin S. Nelson

By Gwladys Fouche and Nerijus Adomaitis

OSLO (Reuters) – Norwegian police have arrested a former commander of the Wagner mercenary group on suspicion that he tried to illegally cross the border again into Russia after looking for asylum in Norway earlier this yr, the person’s lawyer stated on Saturday.

Andrei Medvedev, who escaped Russia in January by way of its Arctic border with Norway, has described operating as Russian guards fired pictures at him. He has spoken about his time preventing in Ukraine as a part of the Wagner group.

Police stated in a press release late on Friday {that a} man in his 20s had been taken into custody for making an attempt to illegally cross the Russian border, however didn’t title him. An officer with the Finnmark native police declined to provide the arrested man’s id.

Crossing the border to Russia is barely allowed at designated factors.

However Medvedev’s arrest was as a result of a misunderstanding, his Norwegian lawyer Brynjulf Risnes advised Reuters.

“He was up there to see if he might discover the place the place he crossed (into Norway in January). He was stopped when he was in a taxi. He was by no means close to the border … It was by no means his intention to cross the border (into Russia),” Risnes stated.

On the time of his arrival in Norway, Medvedev stated he was looking for asylum as a result of he feared for his life after witnessing the killing and mistreatment of Russian prisoners dropped at the frontline in Ukraine.

His escape in January made headlines world wide as a uncommon instance on the time of somebody defecting to a Western nation whereas claiming to have fought for Russia as a mercenary within the Ukraine conflict.

However in Might, he stated in a video posted on YouTube he needed to return to Russia though he believed this might pose a danger to his life, describing himself as “some type of a boy in an enormous sport” that he not needed to be a part of.

Risnes stated Medvedev had the best to return to Russia if he needed to, however that “loads of adjustments have to occur” to be able to make a secure return.

In April, Medvedev was convicted in Norway of involvement in a bar battle and of carrying an air gun however was acquitted of committing violence in opposition to police. He stated then he was trying to the longer term and hoped for asylum.

Wagner founder Yevgeny Prigozhin was killed on Aug. 23 when a non-public jet he used crashed in unexplained circumstances, simply two months after he briefly despatched his mercenaries advancing on Moscow in a direct problem to the Russian institution.

(Reporting by Gwladys Fouche and Nerijus Adomaitis, enhancing by Terje Solsvik and Clelia Oziel)

Copyright 2023 Thomson Reuters.

Leave a Comment