Former Wagner Mercenary Andrey Medvedev Arrested for Attempted Illegal Return to Russia

Andrey Medvedev, a former commander in the Wagner mercenary group, has been arrested by the Norwegian police for attempting to illegally cross back into Russia. Medvedev, who had claimed asylum in Norway earlier this year, was arrested under immigration laws upon his arrival in Norway. This latest incident involving Medvedev follows his guilty plea in April for a bar fight and carrying an air gun in public. However, he was acquitted of assaulting police officers. Medvedev, who defected from Wagner to the West, is believed to be the first member of the mercenary group to do so. Wagner, which was led by Yevgeny Prigozhin until his death in a plane crash in August, has been involved in numerous Russian operations. Initially, Medvedev sought asylum in Norway, claiming that he feared being “brutally murdered” after witnessing war crimes in Ukraine. However, in May, he expressed his desire to return to Russia, despite the potential risk to his life. Late on Friday, Norwegian police announced the arrest of a man in his 20s for attempting to cross the Russian border, without disclosing his name. Medvedev’s lawyer confirmed his client’s identity and explained that the arrest was a result of a misunderstanding. The lawyer stated that Medvedev was in the area to locate the spot where he had crossed into Norway, and he was stopped by the police while in a taxi. The lawyer emphasized that it was never Medvedev’s intention to cross back into Russia and that he was nowhere near the border.