A Belarusian woman jailed in Thailand for offering 'sex lessons' without a work permit has repeated her plea to the US to step in and free her in exchange for evidence of links between President Trump's election campaign and Russia.
Escort Nastya Rybka came to prominence earlier this month when an oligarch obtained a court order demanding she remove videos and photographs of them together on his yacht, or else Instagram would be blocked in Russia.
The oligarch in question, Oleg Deripaska, has links to Trump's onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and is heard discussing U.S.-Russia relations in Rybka's videos.
Secrets to tell: Anastasia Vashukevich, also known under her escort alias Nastya Rybka, claims to have information which could link Kremlin to President Donald Trump
Jailed: Rybka was arrested Sunday in the Thai resort city of Pattaya while giving sex lessons to Russian tourists, as she does not have a work permit
Rybka is seen in one of her Instagram posts from 2016, recorded on the yach of Oleg Deripaska, seen right, who has links to Trump's onetime campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, and is heard discussing U.S.-Russia relations in Rybka's videos
Yesterday, Rybka, real name Anastasia Vashukevich, took to social media to claim she had evidence of Manafort's links to Deripaska and Russia.
In a video recorded in her cell in Pattaya, Thailand, she pleaded with the U.S. to help her get out of Thai prison and to make sure she will not face justice in Russia.
However, she has refused to offer any such evidence, and it's not clear if she has any.
Today, Rybka repeated her plea of help, but said she won't give details of what she knows until she is guaranteed she won't be sent to Russia.
'I can say something only when I will be in a safe place, sorry, because I am worried about my life,' Vashukevich told the AP from a police van that was taking the detainees from Pattaya to Bangkok's Immigration Detention Center.
'I didn't want to tell you about many things. Now they're trying to lock us up,' she said.
Nastya Rybka, the 'mistress' of a Russian billionaire has claimed in a video that she will reveal Russian connections to the 2016 US presidential elections if America rescues her from Thailand. Rybka was arrested in Thailand on Sunday
Rybka (pictured in a jail cell in Thailand) claims she 'knows a lot' and has 'audio and video' proof of the alleged Russian connections to the 2016 US elections
'But now I'm ready to put together all the pieces of the puzzle that you have been missing, and back it up with audio and video regarding the ties of our esteemed lawmakers with Manafort, Trump and all this buzz around the U.S. election. I know a lot.'
Rybka's 2016 videos - linking Deripaska to a Russian Deputy Prime Minister - were used in an investigation by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny.
Navalny's report made no claim that Rybka knew anything about a Russian campaign to influence the U.S. election, and she has produced no evidence that she does.
Speaking today about Rybka's claims, Navalny said he has 'certain doubts' that she has anything proving direct ties between Russia and the Trump campaign.
'I think such statements are made because of fears for her own life because they have been detained in Thailand,' he said, adding he believes her fears are well-founded.
Rybka's story offers a glimpse into the shady world of Russian oligarchs, such as the super-rich Oleg Deripaska, who has many friends in high places.
She allegedly had an affair with Deripaska, and videos posted on her Instagram in August 2016 show Deripaska on his yacht talking with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko.
In one snippet, Deripaska is heard speaking to Miss Rybka, who is seen holding his hand, why relations between Russia and the United States are bad.
You scratch my back: Vashukevich says she wants to exchange information on alleged Russian ties to U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign for her own personal safety
Anastasia Vashukevich, left, and Alexander Kirillov walk from a detention center in Pattaya, south of Bangkok, Thailand
Despite claiming she has information of Trump campaign-Russia ties he has refused to offer any such evidence, and it's not clear if she has any
Desperate: Rybka has today repeated her plea of help, but said she won't give details of what she knows until she is guaranteed she won't be sent to Russia.
A Washington Post report from September claims Deripaska was offered briefings on the US Presidential race to Deripaska by Manafort, although there is no evidence such briefings ever took place.
Manafort has been indicted on money-laundering charges related to his overseas consulting work by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Escort in trouble: Rybka nearly caused a total bloc of Instagram and YouTube in Russia after refusing to remove her videos and images
But Mueller has offered no evidence that Manafort linked his Russian contacts to Trump's campaign or helped Russia meddle in the 2016 U.S. election.
In 2014, Deripaska accused Manafort of owing him nearly million in a Cayman Islands court.
In 2008, Deripaska was at the centre of a British political scandal, when it emerged that then-Shadow Chancellor George Osborne, Lord Peter Mandelson and banking heir Nat Rothschild had all spent an evening on his yacht Queen K in Corfu in August.
Last month, Deripaska sued Rybka and her 'sex guru' teacher' Alexander Kirillov, also known as Alex Lesley, for breach of privacy.
The Russian court imposed an injunction, which threatened a complete blocked access to Instagram and YouTube across the country, and communications providers blocked access to Navalny's website for several weeks until they all deleted the videos.
A Feb. 15 statement from Deripaska said: 'Mr. Deripaska's claim is to protect his right to privacy and has nothing to do with any political struggle between Mr. Navalny and his political opponents.'
A request for comment Wednesday from the Russian government went unanswered.
Peter Carr, a spokesman for Mueller, declined to comment Wednesday.
On Sunday, Rybka, Kirillov and eight other people, including her 'teacher and sex guru' Alexander Kirillov, in the Thai resort of Pattaya while giving sex lessons to Russian tourists.
Immigration Police Maj. Satawat Srirattanapong said the 10 were charged with working without a permit, and one with having an expired visa.
They were arrested in a hotel meeting room in Pattaya, a seaside resort noted for its sex industry and popularity with Russian visitors. T
The lessons were attended by about 40 Russian tourists, many wearing T-shirts bearing the English words 'Sex animator' with an arrow pointing to the wearer's crotch.
Thai news media cited police as saying that the meeting was raided because hotel staff reported hearing strange sounds.
Satawat, the police major, said all 10 arrested people have had their visas revoked and will be detained at the Immigration Detention Center in Bangkok until the charges of working illegally are resolved.
He said police have up to 48 days to process the cases before handing them to prosecutors. If they plead guilty, he said, their cases could end without trial and they could leave the country.
Canceling a visa normally allows a country to expel a person without having to go through the legal process of extradition.
Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov denied Wednesday that the Russians' case had anything to do with a visit to Thailand by Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. He said Patrushev often makes overseas visits arranged in advance.
'It's ludicrous to link this to the detention of Russian nationals in Thailand,' he said.
Navalny said given recent events - including a cocaine bust at the Russian Embassy in Argentina - he wasn't so sure.
'I don't know what to think,' Navalny told the AP. 'Shows like 'Homeland' begin to look entirely realistic when you look at what is happening in Russia now. We thought the scriptwriters made the most impossible things up, but in Russia the most absurd things are possible.'
Who is Oleg Deripaska? The billionaire oligarch with links to Putin and Trump's shamed campaign manager
Oleg Deripaska, who is said to be a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, is considered one of Russia 's wealthiest men.
Born in 1968 in the city of Dzerzhinsk, some 250 miles east of Moscow, Deripaska attended the School of Physics at Moscow State University before graduating from Moscow's School of Economics at Plekhanov Academy of Economics.
He went on to establish himself in the domestic metals industry and in 2008, Forbes magazine listed Deripaska as the ninth-richest man in the world, worth about billion.
Controversial: Russian oligarch and billionaire Oleg Deripaska has many powerful friends in politics
But when the financial crisis hit he almost went bankrupt before bouncing back - with the help of the Kremlin, according to some reports.
In 2016, Forbes ranked Deripaska as Russia's 41st wealthiest man.
He hit the headlines in 2017 when he was found to have ties with Paul Manfort, President Donald Trump's former campaign chairman.
A report claimed million was transferred from Oguster Management Ltd – a company owned by Deripaska – to Yiakora Ventures Ltd - entities linked to Manafort.
Manafort denied that any business he did with Deripaska a decade ago was related to helping the Russian government.
British peer Lord Mandelson is also an intimate friend of Deripaska, having in 2005 famously joined him in a 'Banya' — a traditional sauna in which they were thrashed with bunches of birch twigs by a 25-year-old man, before jumping into freezing water.
Deripaska also hosted Lord Mandelson on his super-yacht, where the pair holidayed alongside Nat Rothschild, then shadow chancellor George Osborne and Tory fund-raiser Andrew Feldman in Corfu in 2008.