A former commander of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group who just lately fled to Norway has been apprehended by police, an official mentioned on Monday, and a Russian rights group mentioned he had been advised he could be deported to Russia.
“He’s apprehended and we’re contemplating whether or not to hunt a court docket’s resolution for internment,” Police Lawyer Line Isaksen advised Reuters, declining to offer additional particulars.
Andrei Medvedev is a former commander of the Wagner group, which is combating for Russia within the Ukraine struggle.
He fled by crossing the Russian-Norwegian border and has mentioned he fears for his life after witnessing the killing and mistreatment of Russian prisoners delivered to the entrance strains in Ukraine to battle for Wagner.
Gulagu.internet, a Russian group that campaigns for prisoners’ rights and has been in touch with Medvedev, mentioned he had been detained and handcuffed on Sunday night and advised he was being taken to a detention centre for subsequent deportation.
There was no affirmation from Norwegian authorities of any plan to deport him. Police weren’t instantly out there to remark.
The rights group mentioned Medvedev would face “brutal homicide and demise” for talking out in opposition to Wagner if he was returned to Russia.
“We don’t whitewash Medvedev. He has completed many dangerous issues in his life,” the rights group mentioned.
“However he has seen the sunshine, he has realised this, he’s prepared and keen to cooperate with the world, with the worldwide investigation and with the authorities of Norway, he desires to reside and testify” in opposition to Wagner and its founder Yevgeny Prigozhin, it added.
Medvedev is an orphan who joined the Russian military and served time in jail earlier than becoming a member of Wagner final July on a four-month contract that he mentioned the group had then repeatedly prolonged with out his consent.
He has mentioned he crossed the snowy border into Norway from Russia within the Arctic Circle after climbing by barbed-wire fences and evading a border patrol with canines.