Two Russians Sail to Alaska, Seek Asylum

As thousands flee Russia to avoid conscription, some sail to U.S. for asylum
KIVALINA, ALASKA - SEPTEMBER 10: An aerial view from a drone, shows caribou hunters heading out in their boat on September 10, 2019 in Kivalina, Alaska. Kivalina is situated at the very end of an eight-mile barrier reef located between a lagoon and the Chukchi Sea. The village is 83 miles above the Arctic circle. Kivalina and a few other native coastal Alaskan villages face the warming of the Arctic, which has resulted in the loss of sea ice that buffers the island’s shorelines from storm surges and coastal erosion. The residents of Kivalina are hoping to stay on their ancestral lands where they can preserve their culture, rather than dispersing due to their island being swallowed by the rising waters of the ocean.  City Administrator Colleen Swan says that the way of life in the village will change with the changing climate and they will adapt. In days gone by, they could migrate with the changes. But now, she says, with the magnitude of problem climate change brings, they must hope that the rest of the world reverses the trend, which she sees as being man-made, and save their way of life. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

At a glance

  • As thousands flee Russia to avoid conscription, two Russian nationals sailed approximately 300 miles to St. Lawrence Island in Alaska to seek asylum.
  • According to the Department of Homeland Security, the asylum claim is in process.
  • In a statement, Alaska Senator Dan Sullivan said, “This incident makes two things clear: First, the Russian people don’t want to fight Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Second, given Alaska’s proximity to Russia, our state has a vital role to play in securing America’s national security.”

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