Story By: Anastasia Smirnova, Sub Editor: Joseph Golder, Agency: Central European News
The former Belarusian escort who claimed to have evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election has decided to go into politics in her home country.
Nastya Rybka, also known as Anastasia Vashukevich, is a Belarusian escort, model and author who, while fearing death in a Thai jail, claimed to have evidence linking Russian billionaire Oleg Deripaska and Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko to Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election.
At the time, Rybka said that she was close to Oleg Deripaska, a Russian oligarch with ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin and business links to American consultant Paul Manafort, and had 16 hours of audio recordings from August 2016.
She claimed the recordings included Deripaska discussing the 2016 presidential election with other people, including three fluent English speakers who she believed were Americans.
After she was arrested in Russia, Rybka said she had sent the recordings to Deripaska in August 2018 without making them public, hoping he would be able to gain her release from prison.
In 2018, Deripaska won a legal case in Russia against Rybka for the invasion of his privacy by the public availability of videos and photos of the two of them together.
After she was arrested again in January 2019, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko demanded her release and she was freed straight away.
Rybka said she was warned not to discuss Deripaska while in Russian custody and that her claims about him were intended to save her from death while detained in Thailand.
Rybka, who has a biology teaching degree, has now decided to launch her political career in her home city of Bobruysk in central Belarus.
Even though she did not have enough time to file her candidacy for this year’s election, she has reportedly drafted her own revisions for education reform.
She said: “I made my own draft for educational reform. This topic is very important to me, as I have pedagogical education myself.”
The controversial teacher believes that she has knowledge and experience to pass on to others and believes she has the qualities needed for a political career.
She said: “Let’s put it this way: it is impossible to corrupt me with money and impossible to bribe me and scare me off. It is very likely that Belarus needs someone like that.”
The former escort also added that she finds Belarus’ incumbent 65-year-old president Alexander Lukashenko – dubbed Europe’s last dictator – a “cool guy” and could not imagine anyone else doing his job.
She noted: “Our country is clean, the people who live here are decent, the level of crime is minimal. He is doing his best.”
Netizen ‘Lavr Palych’ said: “Looks like she is trying to change her clientele a bit.”
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