Police in Oslo have now officially arrested Andrei Medvedev, a young Russian man who fled to Norway after deserting the Wagner group, a St Petersburg-based organization of soldiers for hire. Medvedev objects to being in custody, claiming he’s merely seeking asylum in Norway.
Medvedev, who illegally crossed the border from Russia in Northern Norway earlier this month, was arrested on Sunday mostly because of a need to enforce strict security around him, according to his defense attorney. Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) reported on Monday that he’s now believed to be held at a police internment center after earlier being housed at another undisclosed location in Oslo where he had more personal freedom.
Medvedev’s public defender Brynjulf Risnes said he thinks “it’s in everyone’s interests to find a solution” for the terms of his confinement. Medvedev apparently fears he’ll now be sent back to Russia, but Norwegian police and intelligence agencies instead have expressed interest in questioning him. Medvedev has stated that he’s willing to testify against leaders of the Wagner group for alleged war crimes in Ukraine.