An ex-commander of the Russian Wagner Group who crossed the Norwegian-Russian border in January in search of refuge declared that he wished to return to Russia despite his concern that doing so may endanger his life.
In one of many videos uploaded to YouTube, Andrei Medvedev, who has previously spoken about his time spent fighting in Ukraine, declared that he had decided on his own to come back to his native country.
The 26-year-old claimed that he felt like “some kind of a boy in a big game” and that he did not want to continue playing.
“Recently, I’ve concluded that I’m prepared to return to the Russian Federation. I have contacted the Russian embassy in Oslo for assistance, to facilitate my return”.Andrei Medvedev, ex-commander of Wagner Group
In January, he left Russia by way of Norway’s Arctic border. He claimed that while running through a forest and across a frozen river, he fled past barbed-wire fences, avoided a border patrol with dogs, and heard Russian guards firing bullets.
His story garnered international attention as a singular instance of a person defecting to the West while claiming to have fought for the Wagner mercenary outfit in Ukraine.
Medvedev claimed he was looking for refuge in Norway because he feared for his life after seeing Russian inmates who had been recruited by the mercenary outfit to fight in Ukraine being killed and mistreated.
He claimed in a video released on Wednesday that he will submit papers “tomorrow” that, in his opinion, would make it easier for him to return.
“I hoped that I could find peace and calm here, that I could leave all the politics, the war, and the army behind, but I somehow couldn’t manage. We’ll have to wait and watch what happens in Russia. Okay if they kill me. Thanks if they don’t. Thanks even more if I survive”.Andrei Medvedev
He was found guilty in April of having an air gun and getting into a bar fight in Oslo.
He told the media at the time that he was studying Norwegian, looking to the future, and expecting to be granted refuge.