Two Russians have left their country to avoid being drafted into the army. They sailed over 480 km to the US in a tiny boat. The two men requested asylum after they reached the remote Alaskan island of Gambell in the Bering Sea.
Both came from one of the coastal communities on the east coast of Russia. They told the Alaskan officials that they wanted to avoid compulsory military service in Russia.
Two Russians Landed Near Gambell
The two Russians landed at a beach near the town of Gambell, an isolated community of about 600 people on St. Lawrence Island, according to Alaska's senators, Republicans Murkowski and Dan Sullivan, reported The Sun.
Gambell -- which is about 36 miles from the Chukotka Peninsula, Siberia -- is about 200 miles from the western Alaska hub community of Nome.
Both Men Taken To Anchorage
The duo were taken to Anchorage for inspection, which includes a screening and vetting process, and then went through US Immigration processing, according to the US Homeland Securities.
The security agency confirmed that the two men arrived on Tuesday in a small boat but the agency didn't say anything about where did they come from. Federal officials have been asked to be ready for more Russians in case they flee to Bering Strait communities in Alaska.
More Russians Could Come In Future
Sullivan stated that the incident makes two things clear: 'First, the Russian people don't want to fight Putin's war of aggression against Ukraine.'
Given Alaska's proximity to Russia, Sullivan stressed that Alaska has a vital role to play in securing America's national security. A stronger security posture is needed in America's Arctic, according to Murkowski.
Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said he did not expect a continual stream or "flotilla of people traversing the same route and warned that travel in the region could be dangerous as a fall storm packing strong winds was expected, according to The Sun.