Two Russians who showed up via a small boat on a remote Alaska island located in the Bering Sea, stated they are seeking asylum to avoid military service, according to information from U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski’s office. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’m a bit skeptical about two Russians showing up out of nowhere to supposedly avoid military. Something seems a little fishy.
Perhaps this is just a ploy to embed two Russian spies here in the United States? I mean, I know that sounds like the plot of a Bond film, or some show like “The Americans,” but reality is often far stranger than fiction. Could just be that I’m a cynical member of Generation X who tends to believe everyone has their own little angle to work.
According to ABC News, “Karina Borger, a spokesperson for the Alaska Republican senator, said in an email that the office has been in communication with the U.S. 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.'”
“Thousands of Russian men have fled since President Vladimir Putin announced a mobilization to bolster Russian forces in Eastern Europe. While Putin said the move was aimed at calling up about 300,000 men with past military service, many Russians fear it will be broader,” the report continued.
“Spokespersons with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection referred a reporter’s questions to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security public affairs office, which provided little information Thursday. The office, in a statement, said the people ‘were transported to Anchorage for inspection, which includes a screening and vetting process, and then subsequently processed in accordance with applicable U.S. immigration laws under the Immigration and Nationality Act,'” ABC News said.
The agency went on to reveal that the two Russian individuals arrived Tuesday on a small boat. However, they did not provide additional details concerning where the they came from, the journey they made from Russia, nor the request for asylum.
Alaska’s GOP senators Murkowski and Dan Sullivan stated on Thursday that the Russians landed near the town of Gambell, which is a Native community of about 600 people on St. Lawrence Island. Sullivan revealed that he was alerted to the situation by a “senior community leader from the Bering Strait region” Tuesday morning.
“Gambell is about 200 miles (320 kilometers) from the western Alaska hub community of Nome and about 36 miles (58 kilometers) from the Chukotka Peninsula, Siberia, according to a community profile on a state website. The remote, 100-mile (161-kilometer) long island, which includes Savoonga, a community of about 800 people, receives flight services from a regional air carrier. Residents rely heavily on a subsistence way of life, harvesting from the sea fish, whales and other marine life,” ABC News reported.
Sullivan put out a statement saying he has encouraged federal authorities to be prepared in case “more Russians flee to Bering Strait communities in Alaska.”
“This incident makes two things clear: First, the Russian people don’t want to fight Putin’s war of aggression against Eastern Europe,” Sullivan went on to say. “Second, given Alaska’s proximity to Russia, our state has a vital role to play in securing America’s national security.”
Murkowski commented on the arrival of the two Russians by saying that it underscored “the need for a stronger security posture in America’s Arctic.”
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy stated on Wednesday that he does not expect a continuous flow of people coming to the United States by the same route. He also issued a warning for those who might be considering making a trek along the same route that a dangerous fall storm is expected in the region.
Could the Russians be sick and tired of being dragged into the conflict in Eastern Europe? Are they starting to abandon the Putin regime? This could have some fairly significant consequences for President Vladimir Putin and the standing he has with his own people.
What will such a stand mean for the future of the current government in the country? Could the people rise up and take a stand against military engagements they disagree with? So much could happen here.