A Belarusian model who claimed she had evidence of Russian efforts to help Donald Trump win office was deported from Thailand on Thursday after being convicted of participating in a “sex training course”.
Anastasia Vashukevich, known by her pen-name Nastya Rybka, was held with several others in a police raid last February in the sleazy seaside resort of Pattaya.
In a case that veered between salacious and bizarre, Vashukevich said she had travelled to Thailand after becoming embroiled in a political scandal with Russian aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska — a one-time associate of Trump’s disgraced former campaign director Paul Manafort.
She then set tongues wagging by promising to reveal “missing puzzle pieces” regarding claims the Kremlin aided Trump’s 2016 presidential election victory.
But the material never surfaced and critics dismissed the claims as a publicity stunt.
In the risque Pattaya seminar led by Alex Kirillov, a self-styled Russian seduction guru, some participants wore shirts that said “sex animator” — though one person at the time described it as more of a romance and relationship course.
Vashukevich pleaded guilty alongside seven others to multiple charges, including solicitation and illegal assembly at a Pattaya court on Tuesday, which ordered the group be deported.
On Thursday afternoon, Vashukevich and the majority of the convicted were put on an Aeroflot flight for Moscow, bringing to an end the Thai side of a baffling case.
Thailand’s immigration chief Surachate Hakparn said the last of the group would leave the country this evening.
It was unclear what would happen to them — including Vashukevich — on arrival in Moscow.
Vashukevich, who has more than 120,000 followers on Instagram and penned a book about seducing oligarchs, also faces legal problems in Russia.
Deripaska won an invasion of privacy lawsuit against her and Kirillov in July after a video apparently filmed by the model showed the tycoon vacationing with an influential Russian deputy prime minister at the time.
Both Washington and Moscow publicly shrugged off Vashukevich’s story, which the US State Department described as “bizarre”.
Trump pardoned Edward Gallagher for war crimes — but the Navy is still ousting him from the SEALs: report
The acceptability of committing war crimes while in uniform is putting the U.S. Navy on a collision course with President Donald Trump's White House.
"The Navy SEAL at the center of a high-profile war crimes case has been ordered to appear before Navy leaders Wednesday morning, and is expected to be notified that the Navy intends to oust him from the elite commando force," The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing "two Navy officials."
"The move could put the SEAL commander, Rear Adm. Collin Green, in direct conflict with President Trump, who last week cleared the sailor, Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, of any judicial punishment in the war crimes case. Military leaders opposed that action as well as Mr. Trump’s pardons of two soldiers involved in other murder cases," the newspaper reported.
Climate groups applaud Gavin Newsom’s temporary fracking ban in California, but say other ‘critical next steps’ still needed
"Relentless organizing" by climate action groups across California forced the governor to call for a moratorium on fracking, 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben said.
Anti-fracking advocates were cautiously optimistic Tuesday after California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a moratorium on fracking in the state and new steps to mitigate the disastrous public health effects that extractive industries have on communities.
Author and 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben credited "relentless organizing" with pressuring the Democratic governor to ban—at least temporarily—the high-pressure steam injection central to the fracking process and pledge to reverse the increase in drilling permits that's taken place under Newsom's administration.
Relax, Devin Nunes – theater is essential to politics
“A televised theatrical performance staged by the Democrats.” With these words, Republican Rep. Devin Nunes expressed his discontent with the beginning of presidential impeachment hearings. He indirectly invited listeners – both supporters and detractors – to consider the relationship between theater and politics.
As the hearings continue, it’s important to remember that theater is one of the most consequential elements in U.S. history, enabling the killing of a president, the election of at least two, and probably the impeachment of another.