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Norway detains former high Wagner Group member searching for asylum


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COPENHAGEN, Denmark — A former high-ranking member of the Russian personal army contractor Wagner Group searching for asylum in Norway is in custody on suspicion of coming into the Scandinavian nation illegally, authorities stated Monday.

Russian Andrey Medvedev “has been arrested below the Immigration Act and it’s being assessed whether or not he must be produced for detention,” Jon Andreas Johansen of Norwegian immigration police informed The Related Press. Norway’s VG newspaper stated detaining him isn’t meant as a a punishment, however a safety measure.

Medvedev, who says he fears for his life if he returns to Russia, is believed to have illegally entered Norway after crossing the nation’s 198 kilometer-long (123-mile) border with Russia earlier this month.

Vladimir Osechkin of the Russian dissident group Gulagu.web, which helped Medvedev flee Russia, stated he had been in protecting custody in a protected home and was moved with out clarification to a secured immigration facility.

Medvedev’s Norwegian lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, insisted on broadcaster NRK that his shopper just isn’t suspected of any offense and that he’s unaccustomed to Norway’s new, stricter safety measures for him.

“Important safety measures have been launched. Medvedev has issues adapting to them,” Risnes informed NRK.

In a video posted by Gulagu, Medvedev stated he got here below Russian gunfire earlier than crossing into the Scandinavian nation. Norwegian police stated they have been notified by Russian border guards about tracks within the snow indicating that somebody might have crossed illegally.

Norway’s Nationwide Legal Investigation Service, which takes half within the investigation of battle crimes in Ukraine stated it’s questioning Medvedev who “has the standing of a witness.” Osechkin stated the previous fighter spoke to investigators on Friday.

Medvedev, who has been on the run since he defected from the Wagner Group, has reportedly informed Gulagu.web that he’s prepared to inform all the pieces he is aware of concerning the shady paramilitary group and its proprietor Yevgeny Prigozhin, a millionaire with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Medvedev stated he left the Wagner Group after his contract was prolonged past the July-November timeline with out his consent. He stated he’s keen to testify about any battle crimes he witnessed and denied collaborating in any.

The Wagner Group, which has spearheaded assaults in opposition to Ukrainian forces, contains numerous convicts recruited from Russian prisons. The group has has grow to be more and more influential in Africa.

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