Two Russians seek asylum after reaching remote Alaskan island

Two Russians seek asylum after reaching remote Alaskan island
The village of Gambell on St Lawrence Island, Alaska (Alamy/PA)

Two Russians who said they fled the country to avoid compulsory military service are believed to have requested asylum in the US after landing on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea.

Karina Borger, a spokesperson for Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski, said that her office has been in communication with the US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection and that “the Russian nationals reported that they fled one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service”.

Alaska’s senators, Republicans Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, said the individuals landed at a beach near Gambell, an isolated community of about 600 people on St Lawrence Island.

The statement does not specify when the incident occurred though Mr Sullivan said he was alerted to the matter by a “senior community leader from the Bering Strait region” on Tuesday morning.

A Sullivan spokesperson, Ben Dietderich, said it was the office’s understanding that the individuals had arrived by boat.

Gambell is about 200 miles southwest of the western Alaska hub community of Nome and about 36 miles from the Chukotka Peninsula, Siberia.

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