US Senator Lisa Murkowski’s office reported that two Russian nationals took refuge on a small island in Alaska by boat to escape mandatory military service.
After leaving Russia, the two arrived on a small island in the Bering Sea and requested asylum, AP reported.
Murkowski’s spokeswoman, Karine Borger, told AP that the senator’s office is working with the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Customs and Border Protection to determine whether the two men sailed from an area off Russia’s east coast to escape mandatory military service.
Senator Dan Sullivan said he received information on Tuesday morning from a well-known figure in the Bering Strait region that two men had reached US territory.
According to Sullivan’s spokesman, the two Russians arrived on the island by boat.
In a joint press statement with Sullivan, Murkowski said the incident demonstrates the need for the United States to increase security in the Arctic region.
Last month, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared partial military mobilization in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. According to Reuters, tens of thousands of men have started to leave Russia to avoid compulsory military service.