An escaped mercenary from the Russian Wagner Group is released after being arrested in Norway. Andrei Medvedev was due to be released from a detention center on Wednesday on condition that he stay at a specific location. This was announced by the immigration unit of the police. You can no longer detain him under the immigration law.

Medvedev was arrested on Sunday evening. He is said to have been a member of the Wagner group for months in 2022 before fleeing to Norway and applying for asylum. Norway borders Russia in the far north, which is where Medvedev crossed the border almost two weeks ago, according to the Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

He himself says in a video published on that he was arrested by the Norwegian police and taken to a detention center for foreigners. He does not trust the Norwegian authorities. He fears that he will be brutally killed if he is sent back to Russia. However, the Norwegian authorities have not yet stated that they intend to send him back to Russia. Attorney Risnes also rejected this to the NRK.

The Wagner Group is owned by the oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, also known as “Putin’s cook” because of his good relations with Kremlin chief Vladimir Putin. Prigozhin recruited thousands of prisoners for the war against Ukraine in Russian prisons. He promised the prisoners that they would be released after the end of their contract, but at the same time threatened summary executions if they tried to escape.

A video by the Wagner group is intended to show that this is not an empty threat. It shows a renegade Wagner fighter who volunteered for Ukrainian captivity but returned to Russia as part of a prisoner exchange, being killed with a sledgehammer. The clip sparked international outrage.

The United States is unusually angry with Chancellor Scholz. Ukrainian Defense Minister Reznikov cryptically said that more was discussed behind closed doors at the Ramstein conference than is known. Meanwhile, Andriy Melnyk is pestering the SPD parliamentary group leader. All current news in the ticker.

Pressure mounts on Germany to deliver Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Rheinmetall is now announcing that 29 Type 2A4 tanks could be ready by May. Russians and Ukrainians are currently fighting particularly hard battles near Bakhmut and Avdiivka. It is estimated that 180,000 Russian soldiers have already been killed or injured in Ukraine. All news about the Ukraine war can be found in the Newsticker.