Authorities in the US state of Alaska have detained two men from Russia who traveled more than 300 miles (400 km) in a small boat from the Chukotka village of Egvekinot to the US island of St. Lawrence. How writes Alaska News Service, citing local residents, they said they were “running away from the Russian army.”
The men landed on St. Lawrence Island near the village of Gambell on 4 October. Local residents notified the coast guard about this. Authorities took the Russians to Anchorage, the state’s largest city.
“Two people who came from Russia by boat and were detained in Gambell, as far as I understand, are now in Anchorage, and they are being dealt with by federal authorities. We do not expect a constant stream or fleet of people. There is no indication that this will happen, so this may be an isolated case,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy.
The situation is under the control of the Department of Homeland Security. Senator Dan Sullivan contacted the agency “given the current heightened tensions with Russia.” His office later released a statement stating that the Customs and Border Service took over the Russians’ case. Now she decides whether it is possible for them to stay in the USA.
Two weeks after the announcement of mobilization in Russia, up to a million people could have left the country, according to a Forbes source familiar with the Kremlin’s assessment. Another interlocutor of the publication in the presidential administration said about 600-700 thousand people. Both sources acknowledge that the exact number of those fleeing the mobilization is unlikely to be known: most cross the border with tourist visas, and it is not clear whether they will return. Officially, the Kremlin does not recognize these data, and the publications are called “duck”.
During this time, the most popular destinations for Russians were Kazakhstan, Georgia, the European Union, which they entered through Finland, and Mongolia. According to open data, more than 400,000 Russians have moved there since the beginning of mobilization. Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan remain popular destinations, but statistics for these countries have not yet been published.