Globe-walkers deported from Russia

Brit bitter at being sent home after 7 year walk-a-bout

Posted: Sunday, April 16, 2006

MOSCOW - A British adventurer whose 712-year attempt to walk around the world is probably over after a court in the remote Russian Far East ordered him deported for illegally entering the country expressed bitterness at his treatment on Saturday.

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Karl Bushby, 37, a former paratrooper who has walked 27,000 kilometers (17,000 miles) since he began his trip in 1998 at the southern tip of South America, was detained on April 1 along with a companion from Anchorage after the pair made a hazardous trip across the frozen Bering Strait.

A court in the Arctic province of Chukhotka on Friday ordered Bushby and American Dimitry Kieffer fined 2,000 rubles (US$72) each and deported. Under Russian law, foreigners who are deported are automatically barred from re-entering the country for five years.

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"Seven or eight years full of sweat and tears, we got here, to the point where we were told we would never get. And suddenly it came from the left flank and knocked us over," Bushby told The Associated Press by telephone from the village of Lavrenty, 800 kilometers (500 miles) northeast of the provincial capital Anadyr.

"We told them that this would be the worst possible outcome for us, but they don't think we've had it hard, we could have been sent to prison," he said.

Bushby, who wants to be the first person to walk around the world - from South America to Alaska, into Russia and then Europe - said he would appeal. "There'll be an appeal, oh hell yes," he said.

Bushby and Kieffer created a stir when they arrived in Chukhotka carrying satellite phones, GPS mapping equipment, a video camera and a pistol - to protect themselves against polar bears - and officials reportedly initially treated them with suspicion as possible intelligence agents.

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