A former commander with Russia's private military contractor Wagner has reportedly fled to Norway and is seeking asylum there.
Norwegian police and human rights group Gulagu.net say Andrei Medvedev is in custody after crossing the border from Russia.
Gulagu.net released an interview with Medvedev in which he explained his reasons for defecting.
He said Wagner extended his contract to fight in Ukraine without consulting him. He added that he saw deserters get killed and began to fear for his own life.
Medvedev said, "I was being chased by my former employers, Wagner PMC, Prigozhin and his gang, Russia's FSB, the criminal investigation department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. I was in danger of being captured, killed, shot or worse."
Medvedev was reportedly detained by Norwegian border guards after he entered the country. He has said he is willing to discuss alleged war crimes by Russian forces.
Wagner President Yevgeny Prigozhin issued a statement warning people to "be careful" of Medvedev and calling him "very dangerous."