Andrei Medvedev, a former platoon commander from the so-called “Wagner” group, illegally crossed the Russian-Norwegian border and applied for asylum in Norway. He himself spoke about this in an interview for the Russian human rights project Gulagu.net, writes the Ukrainian news agency UNIAN.
The border crossing is said to have taken place on Thursday, January 12, near the Russian mining town of Nickel in the Murmansk region. According to Medvedev, just at the moment of crossing the border, the Russian border guards noticed him and opened fire, but missed.
Once he reached the territory of Norway, the former mercenary turned to the local law enforcement authorities and requested political asylum. He is currently in the Norwegian capital Oslo, where he is housed in a center for violators of migration laws.
Medvedev claims that he is ready to tell everything he knows about the activities of the “Wagner group”, including its leader Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Medvedev joined the “Wagner” group in July last year. After the expiration of the 4-month contract, his term of service was forcibly extended. Then Medvedev arbitrarily left the post and returned to Russia. The man contacted human rights activists and claimed that Prigozhin’s men were trying to capture him and he was actually hiding.
In December, Medvedev gave an interview to The Insider, in which he talked about the executions and losses in the Wagner Group.
“I had 15 people in my squad, this is exactly the assault squad that went on combat missions. Prisoners started coming to us in August. We created the 4th platoon. We were “death squads” because all the convicts were sent to the 4th platoon. And in a few days there were 3 people left of the platoon out of 13,” he said.
Until 2022, Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin’s private army, known as the “Wagner Group” or “PMC Wagner”, was staffed by mercenaries from among the former Russian military and police. But in light of the scale of the current invasion, Prigozhin decided to increase the size of his group at the expense of prisoners from Russian prisons.