FBI piqued by Russia sex spy story
US investigators seek access to Anastasia Vashukevich, a self-confessed escort now jailed in Thailand who claims to have intimate information on Russia's role in America's 2016 election
A jailed Belorussian woman who claims to have audio recordings of Russians and Americans colluding in President Donald Trump’s election is a self-reputed “huntress” who secretly recorded her seduction of wealthy “victims” while lying and faking love through sex.
Anastasia Vashukevich, now detained on immigration charges in Thailand and seeking political asylum in the US, has told reporters she and her Russian “master” Alexander Kirillov secretly recorded 16 hours of audio of Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska in 2016-2017.
Vashukevich has claimed that her secret audio recordings include Deripaska’s alleged meetings in person and collusion with Americans and Russians about influencing the US election to ensure then-presidential aspirant Trump prevailed at the polls.
Those allegations merit at least some scrutiny considering Deripaska, a strong supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, once employed Trump’s former election campaign manager Paul Manafort.
While the two men later fell out over money, including US$19 million intended for investments that Deripaksa accused Manafort of failing to account for in a Cayman Islands court case, suspicions persist that Manafort may have exchanged information about Trump’s campaign with Deripaska, who may have then passed it on to Putin.
On March 8, Manafort pleaded not guilty at the Alexandria federal court in Virginia in separate cases where he is charged with conspiracy against the United States, income tax evasion, bank fraud, money laundering and other crimes.
US special counsel Robert Mueller has in recent weeks subpoenaed documents related to Trump’s businesses, indication his inquiry is broadening to the role foreign money played in Trump’s political activities. No evidence has surfaced to prove that Deripaksa is linked to Trump and the president has denied his campaign colluded with any Russians.
But US investigators have expressed some interest in the election meddling claims being made by the Belarussian escort now holed up in a Thai jail cell. Police arrested Vashukevich, Kirillov and eight others on February 25 in Pattaya near Bangkok and charged them with visa and work permit violations.
The jailed couple said they will reveal details of their purported recordings only after all 10 of them receive “political asylum” in the US because they fear imprisonment or being murdered if deported to Russia.
The couple’s credibility is in doubt because they repeatedly boasted in her 2016 book about their skills in “trick-talking,” deceiving and lying to control people.
“This sounds like a pretty bizarre story,” US State Department Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said on March 6.
“I’m sure if there is anything of great interest that we need to be aware of that our Thai officials would inform us of that,” Nauert told reporters in Washington, deflecting questions about reports that US officials have tried but failed to contact Vashukevich while in detention.
Vashukevich’s insistence that she and Kirillov possess allegedly incriminating recorded conversations by Deripaska and others has focused media attention on their backgrounds and the circumstances surrounding their arrests.
Graphic descriptions of the elaborate sexual and surveillance strategies used by Vashukevich and Kirillov appear in her lightly fictionalized, Russian-language instruction book titled, “Who Wants to Seduce a Billionaire.”
“Record the conversation. I’ll listen to them speaking and tell you what I think about them and your communication,” Kirillov commanded Vashukevich via her iPhone, according to her book describing sex on a yacht in 2016 with a Russian oligarch she nicknamed “Ruslan.”
That nickname purportedly is a play on words because Vashukevich — who calls herself Nastya Rybka — later confirmed her book portrayed Deripaska, founder of Russia’s Rusal aluminum company.
“There I was, making an audio recording of a top billionaire with a reputation as a decent family man, whose private life half the world would love to know about,” she wrote. “I recorded myself having sex with the billionaire and sent it to Alex.”
In her 250-page book, she described uploading her secret recordings “to a safe place, so people would know where to look just in case I died mysteriously.”
Deripaska denounced Vashukevich’s book and her Instagram photo posts and the couple’s later interviews as a smear, and is suing them in a Russian court.
“On March 27, the court [in Krasnodar] will hold a hearing on the suit of businessman Oleg Deripaska against Anastasia Vashukevich and Alexander Kirillov,” Moscow’s RIA Novosti reported.
Deripaska is suing them for violating his “private life” and infringing on his “personal data,” and demanding compensation for “moral damage,” the court said.
For the past few years, Kirillov — also known as Alex Lesley — has created dangerous, dominant, alluring young women to fool unsuspecting “targets” in several countries to have sex, fall in love and confess their personal lives, Vashukevich wrote.
The Moscow-based group’s partner-swapping and psychological “games” combine enthusiastic hedonism plus faked sexual and emotional role-playing, voluntary bondage, spanking and other forms of “domination and subjugation.”
The Russian Embassy in Bangkok did not respond to questions about Kirillov and what he had been training his group of women to do.
The US Embassy will only say: “We are aware of media reports of this individual’s arrest by Thai authorities. We refer you to Thai law enforcement for further information.”
Thai officials have since clamped a media blackout on access to the jailed couple.
CNN reported that the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was prevented by Thai officials from contacting them, according to an unnamed “senior Thai official” in Bangkok’s Immigration Department which is responsible for the jail.
“The request was refused by Thai officials because only legal representatives and family members of the detainees are permitted access to the detainees, added the source, who is not authorized to speak to the media,” CNN reported on March 13.
The report could not be independently confirmed and it was unclear when or why the FBI’s visit was requested.
The couple were arrested while lecturing an audience of mostly foreign men and women who paid US$700 each for a week of ‘seduction lessons.’ All 10 men and women are expected to be deported after a criminal trial.
The court’s ruling on the case has not been scheduled, and both Russia and Belorussia have not publicly asked for their citizens’ deportation.
It may be possible for the couple to be deported to the country where their flight into Bangkok originated, which may have been Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
Last year, Vashukevich posted photos on Instagram allegedly showing herself, Deripaska and Russian Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko meeting on the oligarch’s yacht in 2016. Prikhodko is one of Russia’s most influential ruling politicians.
The slender, 20-something Vashukevich identified herself as “Deripaska’s mistress, Alex Lesley’s project” on her nastya_rybka.ru Instagram account.
She posted lots of sexy selfies, plus her photos of two men who appear to be Deripaska and Prikhodko on a yacht with her on the social media platform. She also wrote about the supposed sexual boorishness of an unnamed “Deputy Prime Minister.”
Her revealing book and online photos were used by Russian opposition activist Alexi Navalny in a video posted in February on YouTube and Instagram alleging possible bribery.
Navalny’s investigators interviewed Vashukevich and Kirillov who confirmed her book was about Deripaska and Prikhodko.
Deripaska posted on his Instagram site that Navalny’s video and Vashukevich’s photos and statements were “outrageous false allegations.” Russia’s internet censor subsequently demanded its removal.
Facebook-owned Instagram deleted Navalny’s video and some of Vashukevich’s posts, but the video remains at this link on Google-owned YouTube.
“Happy Valentine’s Day, honey @oleg.deripaska, Maybe today YouTube and Instagram will be blocked,” she posted on her Instagram to him from Dubai on February 17 just before arriving in Thailand.
Vashukevich’s book was dedicated to “my shy billionaire” and includes chapters describing “Meeting Him and Having Sex,” “I Begin to Seduce Him,” and “The sex with another girl trick.”
In the book, Kirillov wrote: “The Huntress plays for real. She might hate someone, but if she has to love him, she will fall in love with him and make him fall in love with her. Then she’ll switch back to another identity and [have sex with] him!”
Previously he authored a book titled, “Life without Panties” and later described himself as a “rival” to Putin.
In Bangkok, a 21-year old Ukrainian woman — one of the group’s attractive “seducers” — gave her name but asked to be identified only as “Misha” and provided this writer an English-language edition of Vashukevich’s book.
“Nastya is my close friend. Alex is my trainer. I know them for almost one year and a half already. I’m going to do anything possible to help them,” Misha said.
Asked why Vashukevich wrote the book and uploaded photos of Deripaska, Misha said, “This book and all the pictures she posted on the Instagram was for Deripaska. It’s just a part of his seduction,” Misha said. “She loved him very much. She told me…Nastya presented this book to him. It was a gift from her to him.”
Vashukevich also posted photos on Instagram of herself partially nude cuddling Kirillov in bed. “Alex and Nastya, they are in love. He is her trainer, her lover, her friend, her supporter.”
But the “possessive” Deripaska became “jealous,” Misha claimed.