War in UkraineRussian Wagner fugitive flees across Arctic border to Norway
According to his lawyer, the former mercenary, who claims to have fought in Ukraine, wants to seek asylum in Norway. He says he is willing to talk about his experience in a Russian paramilitary group.
A Russian posing as a former mercenary of a paramilitary group Wagner His lawyer said on Monday that he would flee across the Russian-Norwegian border in the Arctic and seek asylum in Norway.
Andrey Medvedev, 26, was arrested after illegally crossing the border overnight from Thursday to Friday, said his Norwegian lawyer Brynjulf Risnes. “He’s willing to talk about his experience with the Wagner group to people investigating war crimes,” he said.
In an interview broadcast by the NGO Gulaku, the self-proclaimed deserter explains that after months of fighting in Ukraine in the service of this Russian organization led by the businessman, his contract was extended against his will. Evgeny Prigogine.
“I was threatened with kidnapping and murder”
“My former employers tried to find me, the Wagner firm, Prigozhin and his gang, the FSB (note: Russian State Security). They issued a wanted notice (against me) for a crime through the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs,” he explained.
“I was threatened that I would be kidnapped, murdered, shot, or worse, condemned to the masses like Noujin,” an ex-convict and Wagner deserter whose gruesome execution was filmed with the mass made public in mid-November.
“I heard two shots, the bullets whistled from far away”
Claiming to be the leader of a division of ten men, he claims to have crossed the frozen river Pasvik, which separates Russia from Norway in the far north.
“I heard dogs barking, I turned around and saw people running in my direction 150 meters away with flashing lights,” he said. “I heard two shots, the bullets whistled from far away (…) I ran in the snow, helped myself to the light of the houses, about two kilometers”, he continued.
A group suspected of many malpractices
According to his lawyer, Andrei Medvedev later went to see the Norwegians, explained to them that he had crossed the border illegally, and was arrested by the police a short time later. According to Brynjulf Risnes, his client had decided not to renew his contract with Wagner, having experienced “something completely different from what he expected”.
AFP could not independently confirm that the young Russian had fought under Wagner. These mercenaries based in Africa are suspected to be involved in many abuses in Ukraine. He is now leading the fight to capture the city Sun light, In the east of this country.
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