Two Russians seek asylum after reaching a remote Alaskan island

Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid conscription have applied for asylum in the US after ending up on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea, the office of US Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska said on Thursday with.

Karina Borger, a spokeswoman for Murkowski, said via email that the office is in contact with the US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection and that “the Russian nationals reported fleeing one of the coastal communities on Russia’s east coast are evading conscription.”

Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection spokesmen each referred a reporter’s questions to the US Department of Homeland Security, which did not immediately respond Thursday.

Alaskan Senators, Republicans Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, said Thursday the people landed on a beach near Gambell, an isolated community of about 600 people on St. Lawrence Island. The statement does not specify when the incident occurred, although Sullivan said he was alerted to the matter Tuesday morning by a “senior community leader from the Bering Strait area.”

A Sullivan spokesman, Ben Dietderich, said it was the office’s understanding that the people arrived by boat.

Gambell is located approximately 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of the hub community of Nome in western Alaska and approximately 36 miles (58 kilometers) from the Chukotka Peninsula in Siberia.

Copyright © 2022 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Two Russians seek asylum after reaching a remote Alaskan island

Russell Falcon

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