A Belarusian escort who claimed she had proof of Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s election campaign has been freed from jail in Moscow today.
Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, was arrested alongside Alexander Kirillov, a self-styled ‘sex guru’, when the two arrived at Moscow’s main airport following their deportation from Thailand last Thursday.
The 21-year-old had been waiting to travel on to the Belarusian capital Minsk when she was dragged away by an all-male team of suspected FSB agents as she arrived at an airport Russia.
Vashukevich was deported from Thailand after pleading guilty to participating in a ‘sex training course’ and prostitution charges.
Anastasia Vashukevich with her lawyer, Dmitry Zatsarinsky. He posted this video on Instagram apparently showing the pair in a car following her release today
Belarusian model Anastasia Vashukevich, also known as Nastya Rybka, was detained in Russia after being deported from Thailand
Anastasia Vashukevich sitting with her hood up in court in Moscow as she attends a hearing of investigation motion on her arrest on Saturday
She became famous after posting videos allegedly showing tycoon Oleg Deripaska and an influential Russian deputy prime minister on a yacht.
While in a Thai prison, she said she had information about Russian meddling in the 2016 US elections.
Her lawyer Dmitry Zatsarinsky posted a video on Instagram today showing him and Vashukevich apparently in a car following her release as he made a ‘peace’ v-sign.
‘The investigation made a decision to free them from jail with the obligation to appear’ for further proceedings, Kirillov’s lawyer, Svetlana Sidorkina, said.
‘Nastya Rybka is free. We’re going home,’ he said in a short social media message, as Vashukevich flashed a peace sign and smiled for the camera.
The decision was unexpected following a court ruling on Saturday to extend her detention.
Anastasia Vashukevich being arrested in Moscow Sheremetiyevo airport as she was carried away by suspected FSB agents
Model Anastasia Vashukevich pleading guilty to charges including conspiracy and soliciting, here she looks out from a defendants’ cage before a court hearing in Moscow on Saturday
Sitting in a glass cage during that hearing, Vashukevich told journalists she wanted to apologise to Deripaska and no longer wants to ‘compromise him’ or publish a book on seducing oligarchs.
‘I’ve had enough,’ she said.
Russian opposition politician, Alexei Navalny, yesterday alleged that Deripaska was behind the prosecution of Vashukevich, who calls herself ‘Deripaska’s mistress’ on her Instagram account.
The tycoon, who was sanctioned by the United States last year, has previously sued Vashukevich for invasion of privacy.
Navalny’s team, whose blog initially drew the public’s attention to the yacht videos published by Vashukevich, said today they have filed a police report against Deripaska, asking to launch probes into organising prostitution, taking bribes, and other offences related to Vashukevich.
Vashukevich was detained on January 17 on charges on engaging into prostitution organised by a group of people, at the Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow upon her arrival by a flight from Thailand during her deportation from Bangkok to Minsk after spending nine months in Thai prison.
Anastasia Vashukevich, also known on social media by her pen name, Nastya Rybka, being escorted in to the court room in Moscow, Russia, on Saturday
Detained Anastasia Vashukevich stepping out of a prison van on arrival at a court in Pattaya, Thailand, in August last year to face trial following a police raid for a sex training course
Also arrested alongside Vashukevich (right) is fellow self-styled sex coach Alexander Kirillov (left), also known as Alex Lesley
While being arrested in Thailand, Vashukevich applied to the United States for help to free her from prison in exchange of information of alleged Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
She claimed to have explosive audio recordings of a Russian oligarch allegedly proving a secret back channel link between Vladimir Putin’s top henchmen and the Trump election campaign.
Vashukevich and Kirillov, 39, were among ten ‘sex instructors’ raided by police and were imprisoned in Thailand last year for running a sex workshop for Russian tourists in Pattaya.
They claimed the Kremlin was behind their detention in Thailand to gag their claims about alleged Russian dealings with top Donald Trump associates.
The model has claimed to be ‘the only witness and the missing link in the connection between Russia and the US elections’.
Vashukevich claims she has inside information including some 16 hours of audio tapes from when she was mistress to Putin-friendly billionaire Oleg Deripaska who has been portrayed as a go-between.
Anastasia Vashukevich (pictured at Chonburi Immigration in Pattaya, Thailand, at time of her arrest), known by her pen name Nastya Rybka, has been held in custody since a police raid in the sleazy seaside resort of Pattaya last February
Anastasia Vashukevich travelled to Thailand after becoming embroiled in the political scandal
Both Washington and Moscow have publicly shrugged off Vashukevich’s story, which the US State Department described as ‘bizarre’.
Deripaska won an invasion of privacy lawsuit against her in July after a video apparently filmed by the model showed the tycoon vacationing with an influential Russian deputy prime minister.
Kremlin-connected Deripaska and Manafort, Donald Trump’s ex-campaign manager, did business together in the mid-2000s.
Manafort has since been convicted in the US of financial crimes related to political work he did in Ukraine before the 2016 election as well as witness tampering.