By Chris King • 29 January 2023 • 1:39
Image of Wagner PMC fighters.
Credit: Denis Kornilov/Shutterstock.com
Norwegian experts said on Saturday, January 28, that they suspect Andrej Medvedev – the former Wagner PMC commander who escaped from Russia – had help from Russian border guards.
“It is extremely difficult to cross that border”, explained Tom Roseth, the director of the Norwegian Defence Academy’s Staff College, during an interview with the newspaper Dagbladet.
On the night of Friday, January 13, Medvedev crossed the border into Norway. He claimed to be a former Wagner commander, and that he wanted to testify against the war crimes being committed in Ukraine. The former mercenary was arrested and transferred to Oslo where he remains under surveillance.
“The person has been arrested in accordance with the Aliens Act and they are now assessing whether he should be detained”, said Jon Andreas Johansen of the Police immigration unit.
Medvedev claims that he has been threatened with deportation – something his lawyer denies – although he admits that there was ‘friction’ between his client and the Norwegian Police, as reported by larazon.es.
Exactly how the Russian mercenary managed to reach Norway is shrouded in mystery. He allegedly crossed the border at Pasvik in Finnmark, an area where it is virtually impossible to cross undetected, according to several Norwegian defence experts.
“It is extremely difficult to cross that border, especially in winter when the tracks are visible. Here we are talking about dogs, border guards, physical obstacles, and digital surveillance”, explained Roseth.
Without going into more detail about how and by whom, Medvedev admitted he had help. As a result, Roseth is convinced that he must have received help from the Russian border guards.
Palle Ydstebo, a Krigsskolan lieutenant colonel, is of a similar opinion. He claimed it is no secret that officials in Russia can be corrupt. “So it is absolutely a real possibility that he bribed the border guards. It may also happen that he received help from someone who knows the place well”, he detailed to the Dagbladet news outlet.
The mercenary previously described how the guards chased him during his escape. “Bullets whizzed past me. I broke the phone and threw it into the forest. I ran and ran and ran. On my way across the river I felt the ice give way under me. The guards did not follow me”, he told the Norwegian newspaper.
Yevgeny Prighozin, the boss of Wagner PMC, confirmed that Medvedev was indeed one of his former commanders. He insisted that Norway should hand him over as he is wanted in Russia and was a ‘very dangerous person’.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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