Andriy Medvedev, a former commander of the Russian Wagner mercenary group, has asked for political asylum in Norway. As per the Norwegian media Dagbladet, he has also promised to testify against the creator of the company, Yevgeny Prigozhin, who is a billionaire and is close to the Russian president. According to the information provided by the Russian human rights organisation Gulagu, Medvedev made an unauthorised crossing of the border between Russia and Norway in the Murmansk region before being transferred to Oslo, the capital, where he was detained at a migrant centre.
Since July 6 of last summer, Medvedev has reportedly been working for the Wagner Group under a contract that is for a period of four months, as reported by the human rights organisation Gulagu. After it had run its course, he gave up on it and has been on the run ever since.
It is said that the man reached out to the human rights organisation and asked for assistance to escape from the Wagner group. He reportedly did this out of fear of retaliation and the possibility of being killed by his own people, which is something that is said to have happened to several individuals who refused to fight at the front in the conflict with Ukraine.
Andrey Medvedev was detained on Friday evening in Pasvik, Finnmark, on suspicion of illegally entering Norway from Russia via Pasvikdalen. The individual has requested asylum in Norway, according to Tarjei Sirma-Tellemsen, head of staff for the Finnmark police district.
According to reports, the border crossing occurred on Thursday near the Russian mining town of Nikel, which is 10 kilometres from the Norwegian border.
The subsequent sequence of events corresponds to the description provided by the Finnmark police district, which claims that the arrested guy must have begged for assistance at a private residence in the border region.
The arrest is described by the police as uneventful.
In the interview, which was published early on Sunday morning, Medvedev describes dramatic scenes on the opposite side of the border: He claims that Russian border guards opened fire on him as he ran toward the Norwegian border.
He adds that he has relocated to Oslo, where he is currently in police arrest.
According to reports, he approached Gulagu in December, pleading for assistance to avoid the same fate as his subordinate Yevgeny Nuzhin, who was executed by his own people in November.
Mid-December, in an interview with the independent Russian online daily The Insider, Medvedev claimed to have the support of his old company.
As was the case with Nuzjin, they work to make people disappear by kidnapping and killing them, either in secret or in plain face of the public, as he told the newspaper.
Among other things, he claims to be aware of and to have witnessed the execution of multiple Wagner soldiers who refused to fight in Ukraine.