Nastya Rybka, who said she had evidence of Russian collusion with Donald Trump’s election campaign, has been detained by Russian police.
The 27-year-old Belarusian model, real name Anastasia Vashukevich, was arrested at Moscow’s main airport after being deported from Thailand for soliciting.
Her lawyer posted a video on Instagram which, he says, shows her arrest.
The video shows a woman resembling Nastya Rybka and looking sedated struggles as four men push her into a wheelchair, then carry her.
The video clip posted by lawyer Dmitry Zatsarinsky has now been tweeted by Russian broadcasters and anti-corruption blogger Alexei Navalny.
Dmitry Zatsarinsky said the model had planned to get a connecting flight to Minsk, the Belarusian capital, but had been seized and dragged from the transit zone on to Russian territory, then whisked away to a police station.
The lawyer called the Russian action “an international scandal”.
A Russian interior ministry statement, quoted by local media, says Nastya Rybka and three others detained with her at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport are accused of “luring into prostitution and practicing it”. The crime can be punished with up to six years’ jail.
Among the four held is Belarusian Alexander Kirillov, who was in custody with Nastya Rybka in Thailand.
They spent nine months in custody before a Thai court handed them a suspended 18-month sentence for soliciting. Thailand deported them on January 17, taking account of their time spent in custody.
They and five others – both Belarusians and Russians – pleaded guilty, after which they were deported.
While in custody, Nastya Rybka and Alexander Kirillov sought help from the US embassy, fearing extradition to Russia.
Nastya Rybka said she had evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 US presidential election campaign, allegedly obtained through an acquaintance with Russian billionaire industrialist Oleg Deripaska.
Oleg Deripaska denied the allegations and successfully sued both Nastya Rybka and Alexander Kirillov.
The billionaire is on the list of Russian oligarchs and politicians subject to US sanctions for alleged “malign activities” around the world.