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Belarusian escort says she recorded proof of Russian election meddling during a yacht trip with Putin's billionaire friend

Anastasia Vashukevich, a Belarusian escort arrested in Thailand for working without a visa, said Monday that she has more than 16 hours of audio recordings that allegedly prove Russian meddling in America's 2016 presidential election, The New York Times reports. "If America gives me protection, I will tell everything I know," she said.

Vashukevich, 21, made the recordings in August 2016 during a yacht trip with Oleg V. Deripaska, a billionaire close to Russian President Vladimir Putin and with business ties to Trump's former campaign manager, Paul Manafort. In a video released last month that uses Vashukevich's recordings and photos, Russian political activist Aleksei A. Navalny claimed that the yacht trip was an attempt by Deripaska to bribe Sergei E. Prikhodko, a deputy prime minister. Vashukevich was one of a number of prostitutes on the boat, the Times says.

"They were discussing elections," Vashukevich said of what she overheard on the yacht trip. "Deripaska had a plan about elections." She claims that some of the conversations were with fluent English speakers who she suspects were Americans.

Some are skeptical of Vashukevich's charges, claiming she is an attention-seeker. She was arrested in Pattaya, Thailand, last month and has requested political asylum. Vashukevich emphasized that she is afraid to go back to Russia: "Some strange things can happen," she said. Read more about Vashukevich at The New York Times.