Former Wagner commander alleges execution of deserters | DW News

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A man claiming to be a former commander of Russia's Wagner mercenary group who had fought in Ukraine has fled to Norway and is seeking asylum . Twenty-six-year-old Andrei Medvedev had been arrested for illegally crossing the border to Norway near the Pasvikdalen valley last week. Rights group has posted several interviews with Medvedev, including one after fleeing into Norway, where he describes his escape. "When I was on the ice (at the border), I heard dogs barking, I turned around, I saw people with torches, about 150 meters (500 feet) away, running in my direction," he said. "I heard two shots, the bullets whizzed by," he added. The rights group said it had helped Medvedev to leave Russia after he approached them, concerned for his life. "I am afraid of dying in agony," Medvedev told Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the rights group. According to, Medvedev is an orphan who joined the Russian army and served time in jail before joining the Russian mercenary group on a four-month contract in July 2022. Medvedev claims he had served as a unit commander for between five and ten soldiers. He also claims to have witnessed executions of captured deserters from Wagner. Medvedev's lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, told news agency AFP that his client was no longer in police custody, but at a "safe place" while his case was being scrutinized. Risnes added that Medvedev is suspected of "illegal entry" into Norway. "If he gets asylum in Norway that accusation will be dropped automatically," the lawyer said. #wagnergroup #russia #ukrainewar Subscribe: For more news go to: Follow DW on social media: ►Facebook: ►Twitter: ►Instagram: ►Twitch: Für Videos in deutscher Sprache besuchen Sie:
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