February 1, 2023

Live updates: Russia’s war in Ukraine

2 min read

A former commander of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, who fled to Norway. To seek asylum After crossing the country’s Arctic border, he is arrested by Norwegian immigration authorities.

Andrey Medvedev said he feared for his life after refusing to renew his services with Wagner, according to an interview in early January with Vladimir Osichkin, head of the human rights advocacy group Gulagu.net.

Medvedev said he feared being executed like Yevgeny Nozin – a Wagner defector who was beaten with a hammer on camera.

“The person concerned has been arrested under the Immigration Act and is being assessed as to whether he should be detained.” [for a longer period of time], Jon Andreas Johansen, an official with Norway’s National Police Immigration Service (NPIC), said in a statement to CNN on Monday.

“Beyond that, we have no comment,” Johansen said.

On Monday, Osechkin, head of Gulagu.net, said in a new statement posted on YouTube that Medvedev called him from the detention center and told him that authorities had arrested him on Sunday.

Osechkin said Medvedev was appealing to Norway’s prime minister and journalists to stop the deportation process.

More on Wagner: The mercenary group is headed by Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin and has emerged. A key player I Russia invades Ukraine — have been doing much of the fighting in the small eastern town lately. Solidar.

The group is often described as Russian President Vladimir Putin’s unscripted soldiers. It has expanded its global footprint since its creation in 2014, and has been accused of war crimes in Africa. the evening and Ukraine.

Just last week, the US announced it would designate a Russian mercenary organization. As an “international criminal organization”. and impose additional sanctions against the group and its support network around the world.

CNN’s Mick Krever and Katharina Krebs contributed to reporting for this post.

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