Two Russian nationals have arrived on a remote Alaskan island by boat, according to the US state’s Senators. They landed in a small boat on an island in the notoriously rough Bering Sea, according to the office of Alaskan Senator Lisa Murkowski. Her office confirmed that the two individuals have requested asylum in the United States.
Karina Boger, a spokesperson for Senator Murkowski, said in an email seen by ABC News that her office was in touch with US Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection.
She added: “The Russian nationals reported that they fled one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia to avoid compulsory military service.”
According to Alaska’s two Senators, Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, the two Russians arrived on a beach near the town of Gambell.
The town is made up of an isolated Native Alaskan community of around 600 people on the island of St Lawrence in the Bering Sea. Gambell is only about 36 miles away from Russian territory.
Alaska’s Governor said that it was unlikely that the route would become common for Russians fleeing the draft.
He said: “We don’t anticipate a continual stream of individuals or a flotilla of individuals. We have no indication that’s going to happen, so this may be a one-off.”
The Russian embassy in Washington said it was aware of the incident and would have a phone conversation with the two Russian citizens, according to the Russian state-linked TASS news agency.
The Department of Homeland Security confirmed that the two individuals arrived on Tuesday.
Vladimir Putin announced the mobilisation of 300,000 Russian men last month, prompting a mass exodus from the country.
Flights to visa free locations quickly sold out and queues formed at Russia’s borders with Finland, Georgia, Kazakhstan and other countries.
In addition, protests erupted at the mobilisation effort as men who were overweight, old or without military experience were drafted, enraging at least some of the Russia public.
As the war in Ukraine and the draft continues, it is likely some Russians will continue to try to flee the country or even worse for Putin, desert on the battlefield.