‘Russiagate' guppy caught in Pattaya sex class dragnet
published : 28 Feb 2018 at 21:58
writer: William Echols
An intriguing triangle: Is there a link between Russia's meddling in the US election and the recent sex class bust in Pattaya?
Early on Monday, news broke that 10 “Russians” running a seminar in amorous liaisons had been arrested at an undisclosed luxury Pattaya hotel.
The trainees, who had shelled out 20,000 baht to learn the story of the birds and the skeeze, were reportedly left in quite a state of agitation upon officers busting in for the sake of syllabus interruptus.
Leaving with lighter wallets and heavy … hearts, the 43 participants were let off the hook, though they might be forced to live the rest of their lives without being certified for unlawful carnal knowledge.
But the 10 instructors, all showing sophisticated sartorial skills in their “sex animator” tees, found themselves in hot water, one for having overstayed their visa, three for backdoor entry and all for plying their trade without work permits.
(Video YouTube/Viral Press)
But while the story of Russians allegedly engaged in shenanigans in a city Thai authorities have confirmed has no sex industry will surely shock all and sundry, there’s an additional wrinkle to the sordid tale that’s flown under the Thai media radar.
Enter Anastasia Vashukevich, aka Nastya “Rybka” ("small fish"), a 23-year-old Belarussian-born former escort who’s currently embroiled in a tale of internet censorship and international political intrigue.
Rybka, with her “sex trainer” Alex Lesley, were filmed being taken into custody by Pattaya police. Vladimir Sosnov, the consulate department head at the Russian Embassy in Thailand, told Russia’s RIA Novosti news agency that Rybka had, in fact, been detained. A police source who swore the list of detainees had not be released by the cops confirmed Lesley “was definitely there”.
Upon being tried in Thailand, both will be deported to Russia. So who exactly are the libertine duo? Rybka made her name in Russia for authoring A Diary About Seducing a Billionaire, a tell-all tale which was published in Oct 2016. She’s something of an anti-feminist, stripping in support of sexual harassment.
Lesley, Rybka’s guru and self-described “Putin foe” - though only a farcical foe who, in the politics of spectacle, makes Putin look good by contrast - is the esteemed author of the great Russian epic Life Without Panties.
The 36-year-old Belarusian-born mathematician turned orgasm expert had vowed to run in the March 18 Russian presidential poll, but failed to submit registration documents to the Central Election Commission.
Lesley, who claims to head up a scientific research centre at Russia's skim-off-the top Skolkovo innovation hub, moonlights as a PUA coach for Russian girls, who clearly need a helping hand in meeting men, said no one ever.
He claims to train women in the Pavlovean techniques needed to catch a dog of any income bracket. He’d once even landed Rybka in the clink for commanding her to drop trou and get down with a stranger on a central Moscow street.
The stunt was later said to be a marketing ploy for Lesley’s public etiquette course. From here, the story gets stranger.
In Rybka’s book, the former escort from Babruysk details what appears to be her “relationship” with Oleg Deripaska, outgoing chief of the Russian metals giant Rusal.
Deripaska, apart from being among a trio of oligarchs Russian President Vladimir Putin regularly leans on, has also been described as the “patron” for former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort.
Manafort, who secured a $10 million annual contract with Deripaska in 2006 to “greatly benefit the Putin government,” according to an AP report, a decade later allegedly offered to provide Deripaska personal briefings about the 2016 presidential election. He is currently facing 32 indictments, including charges of conspiracy and money laundering, for his role in the “Russiagate” scandal.
So what does Rybka have to do with any of this? Well, in this digital first, privacy last era, she posted videos of herself on a yacht registered to Deripaska’s mother. That boat, incidentally, was cruising off the coast of Norway in August 2016, a month after Manafort is said to have proposed the private briefings.
But in clips posted online, Rybka, who said she’d been hired by a modeling agency to find her sea legs on the pleasure boat, proved more adept than the Five Eyes at digging up dirt on the Russians. In an act of réclame turned accidental spy craft, she not only posted photos of herself snuggling up to the hard-nosed industrialist, but also videos of Deripaska speaking with Sergei Prikhodko, a deputy prime minister, top foreign policy adviser and long-time confidante of Putin.
Rybka, totally unaware she could be documenting a global conspiracy between an oligarch and the man he called “papa”, texted her sex guru for advice. Lesley, who comes off a bit like Chad Feldheimer in Burn After Reading, demands that she “tape everything!” so that he can properly guide her. For some reason, opposition leader and Putin’s own Voldemort, Alexi Navalny, took interest in the confederacy of dunces.
Based on Rybka’s videos, flight records and geo-location, on Feb 8 Navalny released a report claiming that Deripaska had essentially bribed Prikhodko on the yacht, where the two met to “solve the issue with America”. There, the aluminium magnate allegedly turning over Manafort’s briefings on the Trump campaign.
When Navalny’s report surfaced, Deripaska cried foul. Prikhodko called Navalny a “political loser,” suggesting the pair settle their dispute like men.
The Kremlin viewed the report as a ploy by Navalny, who’s been banned from running for office after a politically motivated conviction, to discredit the election, which Putin is all but guaranteed to win. Navalny has long called for a boycott of that Potemkin poll.
Russia’s internet watchdog ordered Navalny, Rybka, YouTube and Instagram to take down the offending content, saying it violated Deripaska’s privacy rights.
Rybka immediately complied, Navalny initially did not, although he eventually changed his tune to get his popular website unblocked.
As for the sex guru Lesley, he - along with Rybka - have been threatened with legal action for their role in the privacy breach.
And the plot has only thickened since Rybka was released on bail.
On Tuesday, she sent out a video appeal to the "US media and intelligence agencies", saying she had been arrested on “orders from Bangkok”. Rybka claimed she had the unreleased audio and video from the yacht liaison that would provide the missing puzzle pieces in the Russian-Trump election scandal.
She expressed fear for her life, saying: "If you find me alive in a Thai jail, I’d be happy to talk.”
On the same day, RA-96023, an aircraft in the Russian presidential fleet, arrived in Bangkok. Russian media is buzzing that former FSB head and current secretary of the Security Council of Russia, Nikolai Patrushev, arrived to sort the situation out...one way or the other.
So, in short, two Belarusian bull artists wanting nothing more than money and fame in the Kardashian era ended up selling sex lessons in Pattaya after accidentally igniting a tale of international intrigue a few weeks prior.
Now this small fish from a small pond might end up in the farang flying club for playing with fire as the new Cold War heats up.