A former leader with the Russian paramilitary Wagner Team has actually declared asylum in Norway after deserting from the mercenary attire.
Andrey Medvedev, 26, crossed the boundary right into Norway last Friday, where he was restrained by boundary guards.
He is presently being kept in the Oslo area where he deals with costs of unlawful entrance to Norway, his legal representative Brynjulf Risnes informed the BBC.
Mr Risnes stated his customer left Wagner after witnessing battle criminal activities in Ukraine.
The Norwegian Border Guard verified to the BBC that a Russian guy had been restrained after crossing the country’s 198km (123miles) lengthy border with Russia, however said it could not comment even more for “factors of security and personal privacy”.
Tarjei Sirma-Tellefsen, police principal of staff in the Norwegian area of Finnmark, claimed a man had been restrained by a boundary patrol and claimed he had made an application for asylum.
However the Russian civils rights team Gulagu, who helped Mr Medvedev leave Russia, confirmed his identity. His escape is believed to be the very first known circumstances of among the team’s soldiers abandoning to the West.
Gulagu’s founder Vladimir Osechkin told the BBC that Mr Medvedev had actually joined the paramilitary group in July 2022 on a four-month agreement, but had deserted after experiencing a host of civils rights misuses as well as war crimes while serving in Ukraine.
He claimed that Mr Medvedev is a former soldier in the Russian military which he later offered time in jail between 2017 as well as 2018 prior to signing up with the Wagner Team.
He was positioned in charge of a Wagner division in Ukraine, where the mercenary group supplied him with around 30-40 troops each week, Mr Osechkin said.
In a video clip uploaded by Gulagu to its social networks channels, Mr Medvedev claimed he took off Ukraine in November after being informed that the team planned to extend his contract indefinitely.
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After spending two months underground in Russia, he went across the border into Norway recently.
Mr Risnes stated his client had also witnessed a host of war criminal offenses while fighting in Ukraine, consisting of seeing “deserters being carried out” by the Wagner Group’s interior safety and security service.
“In short he really felt betrayed and also wanted to leave immediately,” Mr Risnes claimed.
He included that he believed Mr Medvedev had taken some proof of war crimes with him to Norway and that he intends to share his details with groups investigating war criminal activities in the coming weeks.
In reaction to the claims, the founder of the Wagner Team, Yevgeny Prigozhin, validated that Mr Medvedev was a former Wagner soldier.
However in a news release issued by among his firms, he stated Mr Medvedev held Norwegian citizenship and had led a squadron of soldiers from the Scandinavian nation.
Mr Prigozhin also accused him of “persecution of detainees” as well as stated that his former staff member was “very unsafe”. Mr Risnes told the BBC that Mr Prigozhin’s cases were not real.
UK authorities think the Wagner Group composes concerning 10% of Russia’s forces in Ukraine, and also played a substantial part in aiding Moscow’s pressures take the town of Soledar in eastern Donbas region recently.
Hundreds of its soldiers have been hired from Russian jails. Mr Prigozhin – a former convict himself – has actually assured employees their liberty in exchange for 6 months solution in Ukraine.
Prior to the intrusion of Ukraine, it had just a couple of thousand hirelings. The majority of were thought to be knowledgeable previous soldiers, consisting of some from Russia’s elite regiments and also unique forces.
Since 2015, it is thought to have actually deployed soldiers to Syria, Libya, Mali and also the Main African Republic.
Last Updated: 17 January 2023