Two Russians seek asylum after arriving on remote Alaskan island


JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid compulsory military service applied for asylum in the United States after landing on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea, Alaska said. the office of U.S. Senator Lisa Markowski said Thursday.

Murkowski spokesperson Karina Borger said in an email that the agency has been in contact with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection, and that “a Russian national has reportedly fled from one of the coastal areas on Russia’s east coast. ‘ said. avoid military service. ”

Spokespersons for the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection each referred reporters’ questions to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, but did not immediately respond on Thursday.

Alaska senators Republican Markowski and Dan Sullivan said on Thursday that a person had landed on a beach near Gumbel, an isolated community of about 600 people on St. Lawrence Island. Sullivan said Tuesday morning he was alerted to the issue by “senior community leaders in the Bering Strait region,” but the statement did not specify when the incident occurred.

Sullivan spokesperson Ben Dietrich said it was the office’s understanding that the individual had arrived by boat.

Gumbel is located about 200 miles (320 km) southwest of Nome, a hub community in western Alaska, and about 36 miles (58 km) from Siberia’s Chukchi Peninsula.