- A Russian escort is asking the US government to grant her asylum in exchange for audio recordings that she says reveal new information about Russian meddling in the US election.
- The escort says she recorded more than 16 hours of conversations between a Russian oligarch, a top Russian government official, and others about US-Russian relations and the election.
- “If America gives me protection, I will tell everything I know,” she said on Monday.
Russian escort Anastasia Vashukevich is asking the US government to grant her asylum in exchange for more than 16 hours of audio recordings that she says reveal new information about Russian meddling in the 2016 US election.
Vashukevich, 21, is currently in jail in Thailand, where she was arrested late last month for violating her tourist visa by working at a sex-training seminar in the seaside city of Pattaya. The former model and self-described “seductress” who entered Thailand with a Russian passport fears deportation to Russia.
Vashukevich says she recorded conversations between Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, who has a close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and a former top aide to President Donald Trump, and other undisclosed individuals about the US election.
“If America gives me protection, I will tell everything I know,” Vashukevich said during an interview with reporters at the Thai detention center on Monday. “I am afraid to go back to Russia. Some strange things can happen.”
Vashukevich, who also goes by the name Nastya Rybka, posted photos and videos on social media of her time on a private yacht with Deripaska and deputy Russian prime minister Sergei Prikhodko in August 2016.
“They were discussing elections. Deripaska had a plan about elections,” she said of the conversations she recorded but has not yet released, adding, “I can’t tell you everything.”
Companies owned by Paul Manafort, Trump’s former campaign chairman who is under investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller, owe millions of dollars to Deripaska. And Manafort reportedly offered to give the Russian oligarch “private briefings” on the Trump campaign.
“I’m ready to give you all the missing puzzle pieces, support them with videos and audios, regarding the connections of our respected lawmakers with Trump, Manafort and the rest. I know a lot. I’m waiting for your offers and I’m waiting for you in a Thai prison,” Vashukevich said in a video she posted on Instagram on her way to the Pattaya jail.
Vashukevich says that some of the recorded conversations include discussions with three English-speaking individuals who she believes were Americans.
Vashukevich’s trip aboard the yacht was confirmed by Russian opposition figure Aleksei Navalny, who published a 25-minute video investigation, which the Russian government has attempted to block, into charges that the three-day yacht trip was an attempt by Deripaska to bribe Prikhodko.
In Navalny’s video, which relies in large part on Vashukevich’s photos and footage, the two men are heard discussing Russian relations with the US. Navalny reported that Vashukevich was one of “several” prostitutes on the boat.