An ex-commander of Russia’s notorious mercenary Wagner Group, who is now seeking asylum in Norway, has apologized for his actions in fighting in Ukraine.
Andrei Medvedev stated that he wanted to talk out about his experiences during the war, and also within the private group of millionaire Yevgeny Prgozhin who has ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin , so that “the perpetrators” are punished for their crimes.
He told Reuters news agency that many consider him a scoundrel and a criminal. “First, I apologize repeatedly and again. I don’t know how that would be received but I do want to say sorry.
“I would like to clarify that I am not that person. Yes, I did serve in Wagner. Some moments in my story are not what people like. However, nobody is born intelligent.
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In an interview in Oslo, the 26-year old said that he witnessed the murder and mistreatment Russian prisoners being transported to Ukraine in order to fight for Wagner.
He claimed he fled across the Arctic border, climbing through barbed wire fences, evading a border guard with dogs as he ran through the forest and over the frozen river which separates the two countries.
A special report by Reuters published last week showed that a graveyard was located in southern Russia. Many of the men found buried in Bakinskaya village, Krasnodar Region’s outskirts, were prisoners who had been recruited to fight in Ukraine by Wagner.
Kripos, Norway’s national criminal police, began questioning the former Wagner commander over his experiences in Ukraine. He is a witness.
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He was born in Siberia’s Tomsk region. His mother died in childbirth and his father disappeared.
After serving his last sentence in prison in July 2022, he stated that he had been drafted into the Russian military at the age of 18 and served in the 31st Airborne Brigade, Ulyanovsk, in Donbas.
After signing a contract for four months, he received a monthly salary of approximately 250,000 roubles (PS2,884). On 16 July, he crossed into Ukraine and fought in Bakhmut.
It was f ***** upward. “The roads to Artemovsk were littered by the corpses our soldiers,” he stated, using the Russian name Bakhmut. “The losses were heavy… “I saw many of my friends die.”
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He was in command of a squad and received orders from a commander. He also planned combat missions. Two people refused to fight were shot in front by newly recruited prisoners.
“What is the scariest thing?” Realizing that there are people out there who think they are your compatriots and could kill you at any moment, or according to someone’s instructions, is the scariest thing.” he stated. “Your own people. This was probably the most frightening thing.
He is the Wagner Group’s first known fighter who fled to Ukraine.
The Wagner Group is a Russian mercenary organization. It is made up of a number of groups and companies, rather than one entity. The group also includes many Russian convicts who were recruited from Russian prisons and have been involved in attacks on Ukraine.
It has become more influential in Africa where it has been building alliances and spreading Russian disinformation, and has gained access to oil, gas and other valuable minerals.