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Two Russians Apply For Asylum In U.S. State Of Alaska After Fleeing To Avoid Military Service

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski's office said it had been in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection about the two Russians. (file photo)

U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski's office said it had been in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection about the two Russians. (file photo)

Two Russians who said they fled their home country to avoid compulsory military service have requested asylum in the United States after landing on a remote Alaskan island in the Bering Sea, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski's office said on October 6.
A spokeswoman for Murkowski (Republican-Alaska) said Murkowski's office has been in communication with the U.S. Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) about the two Russians. "The Russian nationals reported that they fled one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service," said Karina Borger. Murkowski and U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (Republican-Alaska) issued a statement saying they were trying to determine who the individuals are. "Given current heightened tensions with Russia, I called the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and spoke to him as well as another senior DHS official when I was first contacted about this situation on Tuesday morning by a senior community leader from the Bering Strait region,” Murkowski said in the statement .
She said since those calls, CBP has been “responding and going through the process to determine the admissibility of these individuals to enter the United States.” The statement said the individuals landed at a beach near Gambell, an isolated community on St. Lawrence Island about 320 kilometers southwest of Nome and about 58 kilometers from the Chukotka Peninsula, Siberia. A spokesman for Sullivan, Ben Dietderich, said it was the office's understanding that the individuals had arrived by boat.

With reporting by AP

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