By Nerijus Adomaitis
OSLO (Reuters) – A former commander of Russia’s Wagner group who sought asylum in Norway after crossing the Russian-Norwegian border in January stated on Wednesday he wished to return to Russia despite the fact that he believed this might pose a danger to his life.
Andrei Medvedev, who has beforehand spoken about his time preventing in Ukraine, stated in considered one of a number of movies posted on YouTube that he had determined by himself that he wished to return to his residence nation.
The 26-year-old stated he felt like “some sort of a boy in a giant sport” that he not wished to be a part of.
“Lately I’ve determined that I am prepared to return to the Russian Federation. I’ve contacted the Russian embassy in Oslo for assist, to facilitate my return,” Medvedev stated in considered one of 5 brief movies, including that he made this determination on his personal.
He escaped Russia through its Arctic border with Norway in January. He stated he crossed by way of barbed-wire fences and evaded a border patrol with canines, listening to Russian guards firing pictures as he ran by way of a forest and over a frozen river.
His story made headlines around the globe as a uncommon instance of somebody defecting to a Western nation whereas claiming to have fought for the Wagner mercenary group in Ukraine.
On the time, Medvedev stated he was looking for asylum in Norway as a result of he feared for his life after witnessing the killing and mistreatment of Russian prisoners recruited by the mercenary group to combat in Ukraine.
In a video printed on Wednesday he stated that he would hand in paperwork “tomorrow” that he believed would assist facilitate his return.
“I hoped that I may discover peace and calm right here, that I may depart all of the politics, the conflict, the military behind, however someway I could not handle,” Medvedev stated in Russian.
“We will see what would occur in Russia. In the event that they kill me, OK. If they do not, thanks so much. If I reside, much more thanks.”
He was convicted in April of being concerned in a bar combat in Oslo and of carrying an air gun.
He informed Reuters on the time he was seeking to the long run, finding out Norwegian and hoping to get asylum.
Reuters was unable to succeed in Medvedev through phone on Wednesday.
(Reporting by Nerijus Adomaitis; Enhancing by Terje Solsvik and Stephen Coates)