January 28, 2023

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Probably with more Russian traitors

Asylum seeker Andrej Medvedev says he has broken with the brutal mercenary Wagner Group.

It is tantamount to a death sentence for the private army that played a key role in Russia’s war against Ukraine.

– They operate outside the law and can do things that the Russian military does not normally do. “We have received rumors and reports that the most brutal acts of war were carried out by soldiers in the Wagner group,” says Age Puel Porchgrevink, head of the Norwegian Helsingforskomite’s department for documents.

Death sentences

Medvedev says he is Almost shot down during flight en route to Norway. He is now in custody in Oslo, accused of crossing the border illegally.

Porchgrevink believes that if Medvedev was telling the truth, he must have been in a very threatening situation. The flight path to Norway is considered dangerous.

Cuts: According to Russian human rights organization Gulagu.net, Medvedev has suffered multiple cuts from barbed wire along the border. Neither the image nor the story of Medvedev has been verified yet. Photo: Gulagu.net / Telegram.

– If you go against the orders in the Wagner Group, you are slim in any way. A video of a man killed with a sledgehammer after surrendering to the Ukrainians circulated not too long ago, Porchgrevink says.

Yevgeny Nugin was hanged with a sledgehammer. In an interview The Insider Medvedev says that since December, Yevgeny Nugin has worked on his team before his head was crushed.

Medvedev says he knows of ten cases in which Wagner’s group executed mercenaries who refused to take part in the war. He also claims to have been present at several executions.

Wagner group

  • The Russian Wagner group is a private military company with mercenaries. The group is located in southwestern Russia, near the annexed Crimean Peninsula.

  • It is not known how many people participated in the group for Russia in the war in Ukraine. According to British intelligence, around 1,000 soldiers from the Wagner Group have fought in Ukraine, while other experts believe there are more than 20,000 – many of them recruited from Russian prisons.
  • The group has previously participated in conflicts in countries such as Syria, Libya, Mali, Central African Republic, Sudan and Mozambique.
  • Mercenaries from Wagner’s group have been accused of war crimes in Syria, Libya and Mali.
  • The group was founded by former GRU officer Dmitry Utkin and may have been financed by oligarch Yevgeny Prigozhin. Prigozhin is sometimes referred to as Putin’s chef, as he previously ran a catering company that supplied food to the Kremlin.
  • The European Union and Great Britain have imposed sanctions on Wagner’s group, and Prigozhin is wanted by the FBI.
  • On Friday, January 13, Andrej Medvedev, former department manager of the Wagner Group, was arrested in Basvik. He has applied for asylum in Norway after fleeing on July 6, when his contract with the group expired.

(Source: TT, BBC, NTB)

The Wagner group, for its part, says Medvedev is a war criminal and warns Norway that he is “extremely dangerous.” They also claim that he was part of a “Norwegian” battalion of mercenaries, which is considered unlikely.

– To be verified

Tom Rocheth, chief lecturer in intelligence at the Norwegian Defense Academy, believes Medvedev could become part of a large number of defectors.

– I think it is certainly possible. There are many people who do not accept the war in Russia. There are political differences, including in Moscow, but there are no other ways to express it. It is also encouraged by the American and British side who want to disengage from Russia.

Is he telling the truth?  If the story turns out to be true, Andrej Medvedev could be of great value to Western intelligence.  Photo: Gulagu.net / Telegram.

Is he telling the truth? If the story turns out to be true, Andrej Medvedev could be of great value to Western intelligence. Photo: Gulagu.net / Telegram.

A Russian defector can provide useful information to Western intelligence, but also contribute to the investigation of possible Russian war crimes.

At the same time, Rocheth points out, it can also present challenges. It depends on whether intelligence manages to verify incoming information.

– If you fail to do so, the person may exaggerate his role and provide misleading information to Western intelligence.

– Can be sent by Russia

So far, Medvedev’s story has not been verified. Rocheth believes that through thorough questioning one can know whether or not he is truly a misfit.

– He may be exaggerating his own role. He may be a criminal or a war criminal. or may be sent by the Russian Government. All possibilities should be open when considering this person.

PST Monday afternoon would not say whether it expects more departures from Russia, such as Medvedev.

– Then, of course, several assessments will be made, and will be conducted separately from time to time. Eric Wem, Senior Advisor at PST, told TV 2 that they will check these thoroughly.

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