A potential source of information on the US-Russia interference case may end up coming from a very strange place: a jail in Thailand. Two “sex coaches,” Alexander Kirillov and Anastasia Vashukevich, who have been detained in the jail for weeks, are claiming they are being targeted by Russian officials who are trying to suppress the information. Here’s what we know so far.
• Both Kirillov and Vashukevich have ties to significantly influential people in Russia. Furthermore, it appears both may have been arrested by a Russian spy – even though they were in Thailand at the time.
• As for what crime they committed, the only thing listed on file is an arrest for working without a permit. However, the Thai government is notoriously hard on such workers and frequently makes local arrests.
• Alexander Kirillov managed to sneak in an unauthorized telephone call from the prison some time ago. Instead of reaching out to family or friends, he called the The New York Times. “They know we have more information,” he said. “They know she knows a lot. And that’s why they made this case against us.”
• Last month, The Kremlin released a video of Vashukevich recorded as she was serving as an escort for Sergei E. Prikhodko, deputy prime minister for Russia. That footage contained conversations with insider information about the Russia-US relation issue.
• No one has been able to contact Kirillov or Vashukevich since March 5 – a full month ago. Initially, it seems they were able to contact the New York Times. It isn’t clear whether this access was granted or whether the reporters somehow snuck in through deception.
• When the Times queried local Thai police about the issue, they explained it away by admitting their use of foreign operatives. “Investigations are not one size fits all,” he said. “It depends entirely on the situation.”
• What we don’t know is what kind of information the pair holds, including whether it’s even relevant at all. Some intelligence experts are speculating that it may have something to do with aluminum tycoon Oleg Deripaska, who recently stepped down from his role as EN+ and Rusal President after allegations of collusion and involvement in Manafort’s alleged money laundering scheme.