After an apparently dramatic escape across the frozen river Pasvik, a former member of the Russian combat force Wagner has sought asylum in northern Norway. The man, whose name is given as Andrei Medvedev, could be a source of war crimes information.
According to information from the North Norwegian Internet publication “The Barents Observer”, Medvedev managed to escape to Norway under dramatic circumstances at the end of last week. He crossed the border in the far north in the Pasvik River valley near the mining town of Nikel. In the Pasvik valley, Russia meets Norway for almost 200 kilometers, with the border mostly following the river. This is frozen in winter.
Medvedev is the latest deserter from the Wagner Group, a private military company associated with Russian oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin. Prigozhin is also known as “Putin’s Chef” and is believed to have close ties to the Kremlin. The Wagner Group has been accused of carrying out military operations in Ukraine, Syria, and Libya.
Medvedev’s escape to Norway is a significant development, as it could provide new information about war crimes committed by the Wagner Group. It remains to be seen how much information Medvedev will be able to provide, but his escape is already a major blow to the group’s operations in the region.