Former commander of the Russian Wagner Group Andrei Medvedev, who fled to Norway, arrested by police

Important points
  • Andrey Medvedev is a former senior member of the Russian private military company Wagner Group.
  • He was arrested on the basis of Norway’s immigration law and “is being considered whether he should be produced for detention,” a spokesman said.
  • He is believed to have entered Norway illegally after crossing the country’s border with Russia earlier this month.
A former senior member of Russia’s private military company Wagner Group, who is seeking asylum in Norway, is being held on suspicion of entering the Scandinavian country illegally, authorities say.
Russian Andrei Medvedev “has been arrested under the Immigration Act and is being considered whether he should be produced for detention,” Norway’s Immigration Police officer Jon Andreas Johansen told the Associated Press.
Norwegian newspaper VG said his detention was not a punishment but a security measure.

Mr Medvedev, who fears for his life if he returns to Russia, is said to have entered Norway illegally after crossing the country’s 200-kilometer border with Russia earlier this month.

Vladimir Osechkin of the Russian dissident group Gulagu.net, which helped Mr Medvedev flee Russia, said he was held in protective custody at a safe house and was taken to a secured immigration facility without explanation.
Mr Medvedev’s Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf ​​Risnes, insisted to broadcaster NRK that his client is not suspected of any crime and that he is not used to Norway’s new, tighter security measures for him.
In a video posted by Gulagu, Mr Medvedev said he came under Russian gunfire before crossing the Scandinavian country.
Norwegian police say they have been alerted by Russian border guards about tracks in the snow that suggest someone may have crossed illegally.

Norway’s National Criminal Service said it was questioning Mr Medvedev, who “has witness status”.

Mr Osechkin said the former fighter spoke to investigators on Friday.
Mr Medvedev, who has been on the run since leaving the Wagner group, has reportedly told Gulagu.net that he is ready to tell everything he has to say about the shady paramilitary group and its owner Yevgeny Prigozhin, a millionaire with Connections to the Russian President, Vladimir Putin knows.
Mr Medvedev said he left the Wagner group after his contract was extended beyond the July-November period without his consent.

The Wagner group, which has led attacks on Ukrainian forces, includes large numbers of convicts recruited from Russian prisons. The group is gaining increasing influence in Africa.

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