Sunday, February 5, 2023

Norway arrests former Wagner Group member who sought asylum

COPENHAGEN ( Associated Press) – A former member of Russian private military company Wagner Group who sought asylum in Norway is being held on suspicion of illegally entering the Scandinavian country, authorities said Monday.

“Russian national Andrey Medvedev has been arrested under migration law and is being considered for detention,” John Andreas Johansen of the Norwegian Immigration Police told The Associated Press. Local newspaper VG reported that the detention was not a punishment but a security measure.

Medvedev, who says he fears for his life, reportedly entered Norway illegally in early January after crossing a 198-kilometre (123-mile) border with Russia.

Medvedev’s Norwegian lawyer, Brinjulf ​​Reisnes, told NRK radio that his client was not suspected of any crime and was not used to the new, tighter security measures imposed by Norway.

“Important security measures have been introduced. Medvedev has trouble adjusting to him,” Risnes told NRK.

In an online video posted by the Russian dissident group Gulagu.net, Medvedev said he was shot by Russian forces before entering the Scandinavian country. Norwegian police said they were informed by Russian border guards about footprints in the snow indicating someone had crossed the border illegally.

Vladimir Osechkin of Gulagu.net said that Medvedev was detained in a safe house and was transferred to an immigration center without explanation.

The Norwegian Criminal Investigative Service, which is involved in probing war crimes in Ukraine, said it was questioning Medvedev, who has “witness status.”

Medvedev, who has been on the run since leaving the Wagner Group, has reportedly told Gulagu.net he is willing to reveal everything about the opaque paramilitary group and its owner, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is in a deal with the Russian president. He is a millionaire. Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev stated that he left the Wagner Group when his contract was renewed after the July–November period without his consent. He has said he is willing to testify about war crimes he witnessed, although he denies any involvement.

The Wagner Group, which has been at the forefront of attacks against Ukrainian forces, includes a large number of people who were detained in Russia. The group has gained considerable influence in Africa.

Nation World News Desk
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