A model from Belarus, who has been jailed in Thailand for offering sex lessons without a permit, claims she has knowledge of secrets involving the Kremlin, Russian billionaires and even the president of the United States, asking for U.S. help to escape the Thai prison.
Anastasia Vashukevich, told The Associated Press Wednesday that she fears for her life, and wants to exchange information on alleged Russian ties to Donald Trump’s campaign for her own personal safety. However, she has not provided any such evidence, and it is unclear if she has any.
Vashukevich’s story offers a glimpse into the shady world of Russian oligarchs, a world in which former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort also has ties. He has been indicted by special counsel Robert Mueller on money-laundering charges, although Mueller has not offered any evidence that Manafort linked his Russian contacts to Trump’s campaign or helped Russia meddle in the 2016 U.S. election.
Nonetheless, Vashukevich claims she possesses evidence that proves otherwise. She has several posts on social media suggesting corrupt links between billionaire Oleg Deripaska and a top Kremlin official, Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko. Vashukevich now says that she can link the Kremlin to Trump and Manafort, who worked for Deripaska a decade before Trump hired him. However, her claims have so far been accompanied by no proof whatsoever.
Even Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who published an investigation drawing on Vashukevich’s social media posts, expressed doubts that the model has evidence to support her claims.
“I think such statements are made because of fears for her own life because they have been detained in Thailand,” he said, adding that he believes her fears are well-founded.
As for Vashukevich’s claims of Deripaska’s ties to the Kremlin official, Deripaska has called them nonsense when Navalny alleged them. In an emailed response from February 8, Deripaska’s spokesman said, “These scandalous and mendacious assumptions are driven by sensationalism and we totally refute these outrageous false allegations in the strongest possible way.”
Vashukevich said she won’t give details of what she knows until she is guaranteed she won’t be sent to Russia.
“I can say something only when I will be in a safe place, sorry, because I am worried about my life,” Vashukevich said from a police van that was taking the detainees from Pattaya to Bangkok’s Immigration Detention Center.