An escaped mercenary from the Russian Wagner group has been arrested by the police in Norway. The person concerned was arrested in accordance with Norwegian immigration law, the police immigration unit told the German Press Agency on Monday. It will be checked whether she should be arrested. Several Norwegian media had previously reported on the arrest.
The detainee is Andrei Medvedev. His Norwegian lawyer Brynjulf Risnes told the broadcaster NRK that the reason for the arrest was discrepancies about the security measures taken by the Norwegian authorities. Medvedev has problems adapting to it. His client is not accused of any crime.
Medvedev is said to have been a member of the Wagner group for months in 2022 before fleeing to Norway and applying for asylum. He himself says in a video published on Gulagu.net 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.
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