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From Russia with Love?


Mike Peer
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Jailed Russian 'sex coaches' offer to trade election info for US asylum

Bangkok, Thailand (CNN)From behind bars in a sweltering immigration detention center in Bangkok, a self-styled "sex coach" who claims to have detailed insider knowledge of Russian meddling in the US election says she wants to cooperate with US investigators.

The catch? She says the US government needs to grant her political asylum.
Belarus-born Anastasia Vashukevich claims she has proof of Russian interference in the 2016 US election in the form of more than an hour of audio recordings and photos of meetings.
"I am ready to help with an investigation if they help us get out of here," says the petite 21-year old.
 
 
    None of the alleged recordings or photos of those meetings have been made public.

    'A plan for the election'

    Vashukevich's arrival in this Thai detention center is a bizarre and tangled saga.
    Vashukevich, who also goes by the pseudonym Nastya Rybka, was part of a group led by author and free sex advocate Alexander Kirillov arrested in February in the Thai resort town of Pattaya while running so-called "sex training" sessions.
    Thai police confirmed they are processing the paperwork for the eventual deportation of Vashukevich and Kirillov on charges relating to visa violations, back to Russia.
    On Monday CNN met with Vashukevich and Kirillov inside the detention center. The scene was chaotic, loud and miserably hot.
    Vashukevich spoke through bars within touching distance of Kirillov, who stood barefoot with other male prisoners behind a second row of bars.
    Vashukevich, who claims to be the former mistress of Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska, says she witnessed several meetings in 2016 and 2017 between Deripaska and at least three un-named Americans.
    Deripaska -- who denies any affair -- is a subject of political intrigue in US political circles, owing to his longstanding relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
    "They had a plan for the election," says Vashukevich of the men.
    When he was confronted by CNN last year, Deripaska called allegations that he may have been a back channel from the Kremlin to the Trump campaign "fake news."
    Regarding his alleged relationship with Vashukevich, a spokesperson for Deripaska told CNN: "This is clearly an attempt by Anastasia Vashukevitch (aka Nastya Rybka) to politicize the accusations of the Thai police. There have been endless fictitious stories told by her, all serving to distract the public from real violations, including very serious breaches of law of many countries."
    Vashukevich says she has photos of one of the Americans meeting with Deripaska, as well as more than an hour of audio recordings.
    But she refuses to name the Americans.
    Vashukevich and Kirillov told CNN they are afraid to reveal potentially compromising information, in the event they are deported back to Russia.
    They have made public appeals to the US government to speak to them, but they say so far no US official has visited them in jail.
    "If I was an ambassador and there was information affecting the country I love and I didn't do anything, it would be very silly," Vashukevich told CNN.
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