Russia: Convicts reportedly pardoned by Wagner group
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A former Wagner Group commander dodged shots and hid from tracker dogs while fleeing from Russia to Norway, a report has claimed. Andrei Medvedev, formerly a petty criminal, claimed he climbed two barbed wire fences guarding the 123-mile Russo-Norway border in the Arctic. The border is heavily guarded, with watchtowers equipped with searchlights, armed guards and dogs making regular patrols.
Medvedev, who served as Wagner’s commander around Bakhmut, also alleged he ran across the frozen Pasvik River.
Kremlin border guards went on to track his footprints before setting a dog after him, Medvedev claimed.
He said: “I heard dogs barking behind me, the spotlights came on and shots were fired at me. I just ran towards the forest.”
Medvedev added: “I ran towards the first lights of houses that I could see, maybe two or two and a half kilometres away. I just ran and ran and ran.
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“I was afraid to look around and to see a dog but as I understand it got confused and lost.”
After reaching a set of houses and banging on the first door he came to, Medvedev made clear he was “grateful” to all of those who helped him flee Russia.
He said: “I am so grateful to be here, so grateful to all the people who helped me.”
Medvedev was later transferred to Olso where he is being held.
Like other ex-Wagner Group recruits, Medvedev joined the mercenary regiment after a stint in prison.
According to the Telegraph, his contract was only for four months but he was told to stay on after it expired.
However, Medvedev escaped and released a video in December exposing the unit’s brutality.
Despite fleeing, Medvedev was up against a special Wagner unit called Myod.
Myor, meaning honey in English, tracks down deserters and brings them to ‘Wagner-style’ justice.
Medvedev told human rights group Gulagu.net: “I was in great danger.
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“If they had captured me, they would have killed me, or even worse.”
Yevgeny Nuzhin, a convicted Russian murderer, was killed with a sledgehammer in November after he was handed back to Wagner in a prisoner exchange.
The Wagner Group continues with its efforts in Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
In an intelligence update issued on January 10, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said: “In the last four days, Russian and Wagner forces have made tactical advances into the small Donbas town of Soledar and are likely in control of most of the settlement.”
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