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U.S. authorities have reported that two Russian citizens have been detained in the state of Alaska after illegally crossing the Bering Strait to seek asylum and avoid being drafted following the “partial mobilization” announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin as part of the invasion of Ukraine.
The two have explained that they left one of Russia’s eastern coastal communities to avoid being drafted and have been transported to the city of Anchorage to undergo various tests and be processed according to U.S. immigration law.
The Russian Embassy in Washington has confirmed that the two Russian citizens will be able to hold telephone conversations with diplomats in the country, according to information from the TASS news agency.
Their arrival in Alaska is part of the exodus triggered by Putin’s decision to call for mobilization to increase the number of Russian troops on Ukrainian territory. Since then, a large number of citizens have left the country, mainly for Finland, Mongolia and Georgia, among others.
Protests against the war have been registered in several regions of Russia. However, Alaskan authorities consider the case to be a “surprise” since they did not expect the arrival of Russian citizens by this route.