Andrey Medvedev: Wagner deserter admits Norway bar brawl

A former commander in Russia’s Wagner mercenary group who is seeking asylum in Norway has pleaded guilty to being involved in a fight outside an Oslo bar and carrying an air gun in public.

Andrey Medvedev, who crossed into Norway from Russia in January, is believed to be the first member of the Wagner group to defect to the West.

Mr Medvedev said he felt “very ashamed” for the crimes he admitted to.

But he denied assaulting police officers in the Norwegian capital.

The Wagner group has been used in many Russian operations in the Ukraine war. UK officials estimate it makes up 10% of Moscow’s forces in Ukraine.

The former mercenary pleaded guilty to fighting outside the bar on 22 February and preventing a police officer from doing their duty. The alleged assault of officers at the police station – which he denies – happened on the same night.

He pleaded guilty to carrying an air gun in public three weeks later.

A police officer told the court that Mr Medvedev had been “visibly drunk” and “in fight mode” on the night of the brawl.

The accused’s lawyer, Brynjulf Risnes, said that Mr Medvedev “understands that he was out of hand that evening and consumed too much alcohol, and there was a fight with people outside the bar”.

“He does not accept the count of using violence towards a policeman. That was a misunderstanding. He never touched the policeman.”

Mr Medvedev told the court that he instinctively reacted to the pain of being restrained, but “had no intention of hurting anyone”.



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