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Norway: An ex-Wagner commander seeks asylum

Norway: An ex-Wagner commander seeks asylum

Norway: An ex-Wagner commander seeks asylum

Norway: An ex-Wagner commander seeks asylum

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  • A former commander in Russia’s Wagner private military firm has escaped to Norway.
  • He was frightened of being executed in the same manner as Yevgeny Nuzhin.
  • Norway’s Police Security Service confirmed that Medvedev was in Norway requesting asylum.
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According to Norwegian police and a Russian activist, a former commander in Russia’s Wagner private military firm has escaped to Norway and is requesting asylum after crossing the country’s arctic border.

In an interview with a Russian activist who assists people seeking asylum overseas, Andrei Medvedev stated that he feared for his life after refusing to continue his service with Wagner.

Medvedev stated that after finishing his contract and refusing to serve another, he was frightened of being executed in the same manner as Yevgeny Nuzhin, a Wagner defector who was killed with a sledgehammer on television.

“We were just thrown to fight like cannon fodder,” he told Vladimir Osechkin, the head of the human rights advocacy group Gulagu.net, in a YouTube interview.

On Monday, a representative for Norway’s Police Security Service confirmed that Medvedev was in Norway requesting asylum.

“This is currently a local police inquiry,” Eirik Veum explained.

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In a phone contact from Norway with Ovechkin, Medvedev stated that he crossed the border near the Russian town of Nikel.

The statement is consistent with that of the Finnmark Police District, which stated, without the name of Medvedev, that it made an “undramatic” arrest of a man in Pasvik, Norway, at 1.58 a.m. on Friday, January 13.

According to his own story, Medvedev crossed the border and went to the first house he saw.

 Ex-Wagner commander afraid for life

“I told a local woman in broken English about my situation and asked for help,” he told Osechkin in the phone call. “While I was on the road, I was approached by the border force and police. I was taken to a department, where I was questioned and charged with illegal crossing. I explained to them everything and told them why I did it.”

“It was a miracle I managed to get here,” he said.

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Medvedev denied committing any crimes in Ukraine during a December interview with Osechkin, which was posted on YouTube.

“I signed a contract with the group on July 6, 2022. “I was given command of the first squad of the 4th platoon of the 7th assault detachment,” he recalled. “When the inmates began to arrive, the situation in Wagner completely changed. They ceased to regard us as humans. We were merely thrown in like cannon fodder.”

“Every week, they send us more convicts. We lost several men. The toll was high. Just in our platoon, we’d lose 15 to 20 soldiers.”

According to him, inmates were “shot dead for refusing to fight or disloyalty.”

Osechkin stated that he began assisting Medvedev at the end of November after being approached by a friend.

Prigozhin, he added, had ordered that all contracts be renewed automatically beginning in November.

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“Andrei made the decision to leave Wagner,” Osechkin explained. “Once this happened, he became wanted by the security services of Wagner and Russian special services. His life was in jeopardy.”

“He was scared he would be executed in the same manner as Yevgeny Nuzhin – with a sledgehammer. As human-rights activists, we chose to assist him and preserve his life.”

Osechkin claimed to have assisted Medvedev with groceries, clothes, and a phone.

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