OSLO: Norwegian police have arrested a former commander of the Wagner mercenary group on suspicion that he tried to illegally cross the border back into Russia after seeking asylum in Norway earlier this year, the man’s lawyer said on Saturday.
Andrei Medvedev, who escaped Russia in January via its Arctic border with Norway, has described running as Russian guards fired shots at him. He has spoken about his time fighting in Ukraine as part of the Wagner group.
Police said in a statement late on Friday that a man in his 20s had been taken into custody for attempting to illegally cross the Russian border, but did not name him. An officer with the Finnmark local police declined to give the arrested man’s identity.
Crossing the border to Russia is only allowed at designated points. But Medvedev’s arrest was due to a misunderstanding, his Norwegian lawyer Brynjulf Risnes said.
“He was up there to see if he could find the place where he crossed (into Norway in January). He was stopped when he was in a taxi. He was never near the border ... It was never his intention to cross the border (into Russia),” Risnes said.
Published in Dawn, September 24rd, 2023