The former mistress of one of Russian dictator Vladimir Putin’s closest advisors just told the New York Times that she possesses over 16 hours of audio recordings related to Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 American presidential election.
Anastasia Vashukevich, a sex worker who uses the alias “Nastya Rybka,” accompanied Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska on a Baltic Sea cruise, alongside Russian deputy prime minister Sergei E. Prikhodko, but was exposed by Alexei Navalny – the leader of the opposition to Putin – after she visited his offices in Moscow. Vashukevich had posted videos of her trip to Instagram and even penned a book about the excursion.
Now, the Times reports that she’s afraid of retaliation if returned to her home nation of Belarus, and she promises she has some serious dirt on Deripaska, which she can provide if she receives asylum from the US Embassy in Thailand, where she currently is incarcerated for her role in a “sex seminar.”
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The Times obtained a copy of her request for asylum to the United States along with her companions. (embedded below):
“They were discussing elections,” she said. “Deripaska had a plan about elections.” But, she added, “I can’t tell you everything.”
Some of the conversations were with three people who spoke English fluently and who she thought were Americans, she said.
“If America gives me protection, I will tell everything I know,” Ms. Vashukevich said on Monday. “I am afraid to go back to Russia. Some strange things can happen.”
Vashukevich flew to Thailand in February purportedly to participate in a sex seminar but got detained by local authorities over her visa and work permit status and has been imprisoned in a cell with 100 other women for the last two weeks.
However, her companions wrote that they participated – or perhaps confirmed – Navalny’s reporting on them, and fled Russia for fear of retaliation, and now they are speaking out in fear of their lives as the Times reports:
Ms. Vashukevich and Alexander Kirillov, the organizer of the sex seminar, spoke to three reporters while standing behind bars and a mesh screen during visiting hours at the Immigration Detention Center in Bangkok. Immigration officials stopped the interviews midway and told the reporters to leave the facility.
Mr. Kirillov said that he believed publicity would help protect them. “I think the press makes us a little bit safer because if they killed us in the prison, everyone would know,” he said.
Navalny’s blockbuster YouTube video features one clip with audio similar to what Anastasia Vashukevich described to the Times.
She apparently spent a considerable amount of time as a – most likely paid – pro-government activist in Moscow, even stripping naked in this video and braving the cold and rain last year with a few other women, all to support Harvey Weinstein in a “protest” at the US Embassy.
Ironically, Russian President Vladimir Putin called his country’s prostitutes “undoubtedly the best in the world” last January.
Now, the very woman Putin’s political allies hired for sex on a boat trip could have the goods to play her paymaster, which could provide key evidence of Russian election attacks, and the Trump campaign’s election crimes.
Lordy, let’s hope there are tapes!
Here is Anastasia Vashukevich’s open letter request for asylum: