Wagner-Söldner deserts and flees to Norway

Andrei Medvedev.

Andrei Medvedev.picture: sc/vkontakt

Andrei Medvedev, as the North Norwegian internet publication The Barents Observer calls him, has a hair-raising story to tell. He is a member of the Wagner paramilitary combat group, fights in the Ukraine and eventually deserts. On his spectacular escape, he crosses the Pasvik, the river that freezes over in winter and forms the almost 200-kilometer border between Russia and Norway, near the mining town of Nikel.

According to his own statements, Medvedev was pursued by the Russian secret service FSB during his escape – he even had to dodge bullets, as the NZZ reports. Once in Norway, he was first taken in by private individuals and then taken away by the local police. As is usual with asylum seekers in Norway, he was then flown to Oslo. The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that Medvedev has applied for asylum.

Not much is known about Medvedev’s exact role in the mercenary force, other than that he held a low-level cadre role. As reported by the Norwegian media, he is ready to testify about the Wagner paramilitaries under the mysterious “cook” Yevgeny Prigozhin. There’s a good chance he might know about war crimes.

Medvedev deserted the Wagner group last year and then went into hiding in Russia for several months, according to his Norwegian legal representative. In Norway he has since been accused of illegally crossing the border – for the time being. The Norwegian judiciary and the intelligence services have not commented on the case. (cpf)

These pictures show: War does not spare children

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These pictures show: War does not spare children

those: keystone / emilio morenatti

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