Russian mercenary who fled to Norway arrested

A former Russian paramilitary commander who claimed asylum in Norway has been arrested by police. Andrey Medvedev is being held under the Immigration Act, police

spokesperson Jon Andreas Johansen told the BBC. His lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, told the BBC that the 26-year-old had been moved to a detention centre in the Oslo

area. Mr Medvedev, who crossed into Norway from Russia's far north two weeks ago, is believed to be the first member of the Wagner Group to defect to the West. The

arrest meant he would be under increased security, the lawyer added. But he emphasised that the former mercenary was still being treated as a witness. The move came after

"police concluded his situation was very dangerous," Mr Risnes told the BBC. "This is what everyone wanted to avoid, but we are looking for solutions," the lawyer added.

Previously, he had been staying at a safe house, Mr Risnes told the Guardian, but said that the change in circumstances had followed a "strong disagreement" over his living

conditions. A Russian mercenary's account of an icy escape to Norway Mr Medvedev claims to have witnessed a host of war crimes - including seeing "deserters being

executed" by the Wagner Group's internal security service - while fighting in Ukraine's eastern Donbas region. Vladimir Osechkin, founder of the exiled Russian

rights group, said the ex-commander decided to leave after being informed that his contract would be extended indefinitely and witnessing the group's "terroristic methods".