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Norway arrests a veteran Wagner soldier who fled from Russia

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A former Wagner Division fighter who recently fled to Norway to seek asylum has been arrested.

According to Gulagu.net, a Russian human rights organization that helped him escape, Andrei Medvedev faces deportation to Russia.

John Andreas Johansen, the police chief in charge of immigration matters, told The Associated Press on Monday that the 26-year-old was detained on suspicion of entering the country without papers.

“He is being evaluated to see if he should be taken into custody,” Johansen said.

Medvedev entered Norway from neighboring Russia on January 13, seeking asylum in the Scandinavian country.

He claims he climbed a barbed wire fence at 198 kilometers (123 miles) and evaded Border Patrol agents with dogs.

After witnessing the murder and mistreatment of Russian prisoners brought to the front in Ukraine to fight for the Wagner Group, Medvedev feared for his life.

The shadow paramilitary organization is closely linked to the Kremlin and was heavily involved in the Russian invasion.

“saw the light”

Gulagu.net, which campaigns for prisoners’ rights and has been in touch with Medvedev since his escape, said he was arrested and handcuffed on Sunday night and said he was taken to a detention center for deportation at a later date.

The Norwegian authorities have not confirmed any deportation plans.

Gulagu.net said Medvedev would face “brutal killing and death” for speaking out against Wagner if he was sent back to Russia.

We do not exonerate Medvedev. “He’s done a lot of bad things in his life,” said the human rights group.

And he added, “But he saw the light, and he realized that, and he is ready and willing to cooperate with the world, with the international investigation and with the Norwegian authorities, he wants to live and testify” against Wagner and its founder, Yevgeny Prigozhin. .

Medvedev is an orphan who joined the Russian army and spent time in prison before joining the Wagner Group last July on a four-month contract.

He claims Wagner repeatedly extended his contract without his consent.

He reportedly told Gulagu.net that he was willing to expose everything he knew about the mercenary fighting force, which Washington said would be considered a criminal entity.

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