JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid mandatory military service have sought asylum in the United States after landing on a remote Alaskan island in Alaska’s Bering Sea. .
JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid mandatory military service have sought asylum in the United States after landing on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea, said the office of US Senator Lisa Murkowski on Thursday.
Karina Borger, a spokeswoman for Murkowski, said by email that the office was in communication with the US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection and that “the Russian nationals have reported that they fled the one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service.
Spokespersons for the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection each referred a reporter’s questions to the US Department of Homeland Security, which did not immediately respond Thursday.
Alaska senators, Republicans Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, said Thursday the individuals 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 by a “senior community official in the Bering Strait area” on Tuesday morning.
A spokesman for Sullivan, Ben Dietderich, said the office understood the individuals arrived by boat.
Gambell is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) southwest of the central community of Nome in western Alaska and about 36 miles (58 kilometers) from the Chukotka Peninsula in Siberia.
Becky Bohrer, The Associated Press