Two Russians ask for asylum after landing at Gambell: Sullivan, Murkowski issue statement on Arctic security

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Two Russians have requested asylum after they landed their small boat on a beach Alaska’s St. Lawrence Island on Tuesday near the small community of Gambell, about 36 miles from mainland Eastern Russia. The details are still sketchy, but the two are now in the hands of the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. They are apparently dodging the draft to the Russian military, which would send them to the front in the war on Ukraine.

U.S. Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan today released the following statements after two Russian nationals landed at a beach near Gambell, located on the northwest tip of St. Lawrence Island in Alaska, and requested asylum in the United States.

“We are actively engaged with federal officials and residents in Gambell to determine who these individuals are, but right now, we already know that the federal response was lacking. Only local officials and state law enforcement had the capability to immediately respond to the asylum seekers, while Customs and Border Protection had to dispatch a Coast Guard aircraft from over 750 miles away to get on scene,” Murkowski said. “This situation underscores the need for a stronger security posture in America’s Arctic, which I have championed throughout my time in the Senate.”

“Given current heightened tensions with Russia, I called the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and spoke to him as well as another senior DHS official when I was first contacted about this situation on Tuesday morning by a senior community leader from the Bering Strait region. Since those calls, Customs and Border Protection is responding and going through the process to determine the admissibility of these individuals to enter the United States. I continue to be in regular communication with DHS Secretary Mayorkas and officials at Customs and Border Protection and have encouraged them to have a plan ready with the Coast Guard in the event that more Russians flee to Bering Strait communities in Alaska,” said Sullivan. 

“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. This is why Senator Murkowski and I have been pressing officials in Washington D.C. so hard on the need to prioritize capabilities in the Arctic — including infrastructure, Coast Guard assets, ports and strategic defense assets.”

20 COMMENTS

  1. At least they did it the correct way. Sad part is, if they came through via Mexico they’d get benefits and free transportation.

  2. Freedom isn’t free. They took the long way to get here unless they’re Russians from right across the strait and Putin is so hard up that he’s getting Mongolians to serve in his army. Regardless they entered the United States illegally. They could be spies for all we know. They could be carriers of the latest variant in your warfare that Putin wants to expose to us as payback for the help Biden has been giving the Ukraine. We’re going to paint biting into a corner and he’s going to come out fighting because he’s ex kgb and that’s what he’s made of. I look for him to drop some tactical nukes on somebody. I think we should back off the way we did against the Chinese and North Korea, and against the Chinese, Russians and the North Vietnamese. Most of Ukraine that he’s trying to annex is occupied by Russians. This is a fight we don’t want to be in. Our economy is in the crapper, we have a political civil war going on. China is buying up United States land left and right, it took the United States 200 years to get a trillion dollars in debt, now where we are going in debt a trillion dollars every quarter. We have bigger problems over here. We’ve got leftist socialist already inhabiting the White House, Congress and part of the Supreme Court. Yeah we’ve got bigger problems than a couple of Russians trying to sneak in.

    • The indigenous community pulls in two billion dollars a year of taxpayer money. Sure would help not to have that bill.

  3. Blah, Blah, Blah, from our two Senators. Why should they care about our Northern Border, when for decades they have done nothing about our Southern Border. Too little too late Lisa. Dan, you could be next to go if Mike Shower, Stuwart Graham, or Roger Holland run against you.

  4. One other point, why is murkowski and Sullivan on top of this like they have any executive power. The job is legislation. They should let the executive branch handle things.

  5. I must have missed their statement on the illegal aliens coming over the southern border that are at least 5 TIMES the population of the entire state of Alaska……or their outrage about where the billions of dollars they gave of our money to Ukraine has gone…..or how the Biden cartel is involved in Ukraine….guess those statements must have gotten lost in the mail or something….

  6. This incident makes two things clear: First, the Russian people don’t want to fight Putin’s war of aggression against Ukraine. Oh really???
    How about… it seems, these two don’t want to fight. We don’t come here for propaganda!

  7. Alaska’s proximity hasn’t changed one iota, Sullivan and Murkowski should have had this national security issue down pat since walking into office, especially Murkowski. Did not the lessons of WW2 teach anything? Were lives lost in vain on the Aleutian Islands?? No! They both need to get off their soap boxes and do their jobs of protecting our border here and not wait for international incidences.

  8. What this really means is that there is little presence in Alaska waters. The lack of fish has nothing to do with “global warming”. We have no presence in our own waters and it was just by chance that the Russians and Chinese warships were spotted in the Aleutians. What about the huge fishing boats? I had no reply when I addressed this with our Senators. A year ago. Secret.

    • It’s a big ocean and we’re out there but a lot of illegal activity goes on. As far as these two Russians that came over, they will be vetted up the yin yang. Chances are they have relations in the village of gamble. A lot of folks in gamble do have relatives on the other side and used to go back and forth all the time until the 1980s.

  9. Smart move for these 2 Russians. According to our rules, they get to stay.
    Where else can Russians just ‘show up’ in America?

  10. The hypocrisy of the below statement can’t be understated. Both of our Senators have been missing in action concerning the southern border of the US, where millions of illegals have crossed and been given free transportation to anywhere in the US they want to go. We literally have an invasion of our southern border and suddenly the appearance of 2 Russians on an Alaskan Island is of paramount importance. What a bunch of horse hockey pucks! Alaska we need new leadership in the Senate, pronto! Kelly Tshibaka 2022. Stop the liars and deceivers from destroying our nation.

    “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. This is why Senator Murkowski and I have been pressing officials in Washington D.C. so hard on the need to prioritize capabilities in the Arctic — including infrastructure, Coast Guard assets, ports and strategic defense assets.”

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