A previous commander in Russia’s Wagner private military enterprise has fled to Norway and is looking for asylum soon after crossing that country’s arctic border, according to Norwegian police and a Russian activist.
Andrei Medvedev, in an job interview with a Russian activist who can help people look for asylum overseas, said that he feared for his existence just after refusing to renew his service with Wagner.
Medvedev stated that just after completing his agreement, and refusing to provide a further, he was fearful of getting executed in the similar method of Yevgeny Nuzhin – a defector from Wagner who was killed on digicam with a sledgehammer.
“We ended up just thrown to struggle like cannon fodder,” he informed Vladimir Osechkin, head of Gulagu.internet, a human rights advocacy group, in a discussion printed on YouTube.
A spokesperson for Norway’s Police Protection Provider verified to CNN Monday that Medvedev was in Norway and trying to find asylum.
“This is so considerably a area law enforcement investigation,” Eirik Veum explained to CNN. “But the Stability Company, we are educated, and adhere to the investigation of system.”
The mercenary group, headed by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin, has emerged as a essential participant in Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – lately undertaking significantly of the preventing in the compact japanese town of Soledar.
The team is generally described as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s off-the-guides troops. It has expanded its footprint globally due to the fact its generation in 2014, and has been accused of war crimes in Africa, Syria and Ukraine.
Medvedev said that he crossed the border close to the Russian town of Nikel, in a phone contact from Norway with Osechkin, which was published online.
The account aligns with that of the Finnmark Police District, who without naming Medvedev, claimed that it created an “undramatic” arrest of a man in Pasvik on the Norwegian facet of the border at 1.58 a.m. on Friday, January 13.
In his have account, Medvedev reported that he crossed the border and approached the 1st household he could discover.
“I explained to a community lady in damaged English about my condition and questioned for aid,” he told Osechkin in the cellphone phone. “While I was on the road, I was approached by the border force and law enforcement. I was taken to a division, exactly where I was questioned and charged with unlawful crossing. I stated to them everything and told them why I did it.”
“It was a wonder I managed to get below,” he said.
Medvedev had beforehand experimented with to cross into Finland two times and unsuccessful, Osechkin informed CNN Monday.
The head of Wagner, Prigozhin, verified on Telegram Monday that Medvedev experienced served in his organization, and claimed that he “should have been prosecuted for attempting to mistreat prisoners.”
In a December conversation with Osechkin, which was released on YouTube, Medvedev denied that he had fully commited any crimes in Ukraine.
“I signed a deal with the team on the 6th of July 2022. I had been appointed commander of the initially squad of the 4th platoon of the 7th assault detachment,” he recalled. “When the prisoners started arriving, the condition in Wagner definitely modified. They stopped managing us like human beings. We have been just thrown to battle like cannon fodder.”
“Every 7 days they sent far more prisoners to us. We misplaced a great deal of guys. Casualties had been substantial. We would lose 15 to 20 males just in our platoon. As significantly as I know, a vast majority of them have been buried in LPR [Luhansk People’s Republic] and declared missing. If you are declared missing, there is no insurance coverage pay-out to the family members.”
He claimed that prisoners have been “shot lifeless for refusing to fight, or betrayal.”
“I am concerned for my lifetime,” he stated in December. “I did not dedicate any crime. I have refused to take part in maneuvers of Yevgeny Prigozhin.”
Osechkin instructed CNN Monday that he commenced assisting Medvedev soon after staying approached by a close friend at the close of November.
Prigozhin, he stated, had requested all contracts to be automatically renewed setting up in November. When Medvedev refused to renew, he was crushed, Osechkin claimed.
“Andrei decided to depart Wagner,” Osechkin informed CNN. “Once this transpired, he turned wished by stability companies of Wagner and Russian distinctive companies. There was a risk to his lifestyle.”
“He was concerned he will be executed in the exact same way as Yevgeny Nuzhin – with a sledgehammer. We, as human-legal rights defenders, determined to help him and safeguard his lifestyle.”
Osechkin explained that he assisted Medvedev with groceries, clothes, and a phone.
“We are not seeking to justify his steps in relation to his participation in Wagner Group. But it must be recognized that he decided to flee Wagner Team as terrorist group which kills both Russians and Ukrainians.”