Belarusian escort Nastya Rybka, accused of soliciting prostitution and running a sex ring in Thailand, claimed last year to possess evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 election in a bid to be brought to the United States to escape justice for her alleged crimes.
After being deported from Thailand on Thursday, she now appears to have been taken into Russian custody at a Moscow airport.
Arrested in Moscow
Nastya Rybka, whose real name is Anastasia Vashukevich, was deported from Thailand after she and several other individuals of Belarusian and Russian nationalities pleaded guilty to solicitation of prostitution, receiving an 18-month suspended sentence. She had spent nine months in Thai custody.
Rybka appears to have been taken into Russian custody at the Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow while attempting to transfer to a connecting flight to the Belarusian capital of Minsk. A video of her alleged arrest was later posted to social media by her lawyer, Dmitry Zatsarinsky.
The video shows a somewhat sedated but still uncooperative young woman who resembles Rybka struggling as four men attempted to force her into a wheelchair. They end up simply dragging her toward an exit in the airport.
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Russian media sources cited a statement from the Russian Interior Ministry which asserted that Rybka, along with three others detained at the same time, faced prostitution-related charges that could result in up to six years in prison.
Claim of collusion evidence
While Rybka was still in Thai custody last year, she reached out to the U.S. Embassy for help by claiming to possess information about alleged 2016 election collusion, in the hope that she would be taken into U.S. custody instead of being extradited to Russia.
Rybka claimed she had obtained evidence of such collusion through an acquaintance of a Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a key figure in the Trump/Russia collusion narrative, who has been sanctioned by the U.S. government for his “malign activities” around the globe.
But a few months later, she changed her mind about going public with any evidence she might have had.
And the wife of one of the men detained with Rybka said nothing has changed since. “Nastya has said it more than once and she can say it again,” she said Thursday. “She’s not ready to share any kind of confidential information. She doesn’t have any kind of compromising files at all.”
Deripaska has denied Rybka’s allegations and successfully sued her for making false allegations against him.