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Feds to seek death penalty in case of body dumps near Yosemite (Russian organized crime)
AP on Bakersfield Californian ^ | 9/4/06 | Greg Risling - ap

Posted on 09/04/2006 12:31:01 PM PDT by NormsRevenge

The demands of the kidnappers were simple: Pay the ransom and the hostages would be freed.

But prosecutors said the crew of Russian immigrants killed their hostages anyway - even after collecting $1 million from some of the victims' relatives.

More than four years after the five bodies were found in a reservoir north of Yosemite National Park, opening statements are expected this week in the federal trial of two men accused of orchestrating the crimes.

It's a rare instance in which federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

"Regardless of whether the ransom money defendants demanded was paid or not, each of the defendants' victims met the same fate," prosecutors said in court documents. "Defendants brutally murdered each one of them."

Iouri Mikhel, 41, and Jurijus Kadamovas, 39, have pleaded not guilty to charges that include conspiracy and hostage-taking resulting in death. A third defendant, Petro Krylov, 33, is scheduled for trial in January after denying the allegations.

Three other coconspirators have pleaded guilty to similar charges. One is the girlfriend of Kadamovas, who will likely testify during the upcoming trial.

Authorities suspect the ring had links to Russian organized crime, but it appears prosecutors won't raise that issue during trial because no racketeering charges have been filed.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys declined to comment about the case.

The indictment, however, provides a detailed look at the kidnappings that occurred over a frenzied four-month period beginning in late 2001.

The documents allege the crew demanded a total of more than $5.5 million from relatives and associates of the victims, and eventually collected about $1.2 million that was used to buy expensive cars and make mortgage payments on luxury homes.

Mikhel used $2,500 to put a down payment on two Doberman pinschers to guard his house, the documents state.

At trial, prosecutors intend to present tape recordings of ransom calls; DNA belonging to two victims collected from handcuffs; and a pair of shoes that were matched to a bloody footprint found on a bridge near the reservoir.

The scheme began when Mikhel and Kadamovas targeted George Safiev, 37, a wealthy Russian banking mogul who had recently moved to Los Angeles to start Matador Media, a film production company, the documents state.

But after several failed abduction attempts and discussions about staging a car accident, the kidnappers turned their attention to real estate developer Meyer Muscatel, according to the documents.

Mikhel is accused of posing as a possible investor and luring Muscatel to what was billed as a business meeting in October 2001. Kidnappers killed him after they were unable to get money from his bank accounts, the documents state.

His body was weighted down and dumped over a bridge along the New Melones Reservoir. It was discovered a few days later, hands bound and a plastic bag over his head.

Prosecutors wrote that Safiev's accountant, Rita Peckler, was abducted and killed two months later when she was unable to lead the crew to Safiev.

The next victim was Alexander Umansky, who owned a car accessory business that once employed Krylov. Umansky was killed after his family paid more than $230,000 for his release, documents state, adding the crew sought even more money after his death, promising he would be returned alive.

Prosecutors wrote that Safiev was finally snared in early 2002 after his business partner, Nick Kharabadze, was abducted and forced to arrange a meeting with Safiev. Another business associate transferred $960,000 to a bank account that authorities said was controlled by the kidnappers.

Still, Safiev and Kharabadze were killed and dumped into the reservoir after being told they would be left alive at a motel, the documents state.

Authorities learned the location of the bodies after arresting a coconspirator who later pleaded guilty in connection with the case. Autopsies determined all the victims were either asphyxiated or strangled.

As authorities closed in, members of the crew flew to Aspen, Colo., a playground for the rich, and planned a trip to Florida to attend a yacht show to identify other possible victims, documents show.

Before his arrest, Kadamovas told one suspected accomplice that more bodies would be dumped in the reservoir and eventually "'stacked on top of each other,'" according to the court documents.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Foreign Affairs; Government; Russia; US: California
KEYWORDS: body; california; deathpenalty; dumps; feds; georgian; jewish; lithuanian; organizedcrime; putin; russian; russkimob; ukrainian; yosemite
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1 posted on 09/04/2006 12:31:05 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
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To: NormsRevenge

Just hang them.


2 posted on 09/04/2006 12:38:35 PM PDT by jocko12
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To: jocko12
right ...publicly
3 posted on 09/04/2006 12:40:57 PM PDT by LeoWindhorse
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To: NormsRevenge; Romanov

A large majority of Russian Mafia are Chechen, not Russian.


4 posted on 09/04/2006 12:47:02 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: GarySpFc

Thanks, good point.

We'll see if more details are forthcoming in the trial altho prosecutors don't appear to be out to make that specific connection....


5 posted on 09/04/2006 12:59:13 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi ......Help the "Pendleton 8' and families -- http://www.freerepublic.com/~normsrevenge/)
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To: NormsRevenge

Jeeze. Don't let Greta find out about this. It will be on Fox non-stop for 10 years.


6 posted on 09/04/2006 1:22:54 PM PDT by Cobra64 (All we get are lame ideas from Republicans and lame criticism from dems about those lame ideas.)
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To: NormsRevenge

There's only one ethnic Russian name on the list of suspects.. Eastern European Mafia would be more accurate.


7 posted on 09/04/2006 3:09:54 PM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: Cobra64

[Jeeze. Don't let Greta find out about this. It will be on Fox non-stop for 10 years.]

Actually, maybe it should be on Greta. Seems these types of crimes are on the rise.



8 posted on 09/04/2006 4:05:51 PM PDT by khnyny (Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.- Winston Churchill)
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To: GarySpFc

Really? All the ones in Portland are Russian. They wear big gold crosses and speak Russian are are from Russian cities or Ukraine. I haven't met any Russian/Muz here.


9 posted on 09/04/2006 4:27:37 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: NormsRevenge

From what I've heard, the Russians make the Italians look like the Frenchies!


10 posted on 09/04/2006 4:30:16 PM PDT by djf (Some people say we evolved. I say "Some did, some didn't!")
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To: Romanov
Iouri Mikhel,
Jurijus Kadamovas
Petro Krylov
Here is more:

Because there are no racketeering charges against the defendants, lawyers said it's unlikely that the trials will focus much on the structure of their organization or provide insight into how the purported Russian Mafia operates in California.

Nevertheless, in court papers asking that the jurors' identities be kept secret, prosecutors state the defendants “committed the horrendous crimes at issue within the structure of a violent Russian criminal organization.” The papers note Kadamovas told a victim in a recorded conversation that the kidnapping had been ordered by his “bosses.”

The charges also portray the kidnappers as having international connections. They ordered victims to transfer money to accounts in the Middle East and Eastern Europe. An alleged Siberian cohort, accused of laundering some of the ransom money, is considered a fugitive by the FBI.

Prosecutors also alleged Mikhel and Kadamovas were involved in the abductions and killings of Russian businessmen in Cypress and Turkey, but the judge has barred prosecutors from mentioning the allegations to jurors.

According to court papers, a former law enforcement official with knowledge of how Russian organized crime groups operate said it appears the defendants were part of a large, well-funded criminal enterprise.

“These are not freelancers, I guarantee you that,” said the former official, who requested anonymity for safety concerns. “There is too much money involved, too much cost involved in traveling around the world.”

Russian organized crime groups popped up on law enforcement's radar in the early 1990s, shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union. Russian immigrants settled largely in the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, N.Y., as well as in Hollywood and sections of the San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles.

“The first generation of criminals is more comfortable perpetrating crimes within its own ethnic group,” the former official said. “What you see is Russians harming Russians, which is exactly what happened here. This particular crime was a very, very brutal one. One of the most brutal I've ever seen.”

11 posted on 09/04/2006 4:35:10 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black
here is the link to the article quoted above:

http://www.signonsandiego.com/uniontrib/20060819/news_1n19kidnap.html

Sure sounds like they are RUSSIANS from the RUSSIAN MOB according to this. Of course the Italian Mafia was really Sicilian in large part, so I guess we have a history of failing to differentiate ethnic organized criminals to their atomic level ethnic self identification.

12 posted on 09/04/2006 4:37:09 PM PDT by Jack Black
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To: Jack Black

I said the majority are Chechens, but that does not mean some are not Russian. I suspect you would not know the difference between the two. Chechens do not look like Arabs.


13 posted on 09/04/2006 5:04:56 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: Jack Black

BTW, Chechens speak PERFECT Russian.


14 posted on 09/04/2006 5:05:44 PM PDT by GarySpFc (Jesus on Immigration, John 10:1)
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To: Jack Black

They're using "Russian" as a catch all for any immigrants from the former Soviet Union. Yuri Mikhel' is Jewish, Jurijus Kadamovas is from the Baltics, and Petro Krylov is Ukranian - Petro being a Ukrainian first name, versus Petr for Russian. The "Russian" Mafia is about as accurate as calling a Canadian mafia group "American" - it's more like an MNE.


15 posted on 09/04/2006 8:34:00 PM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: Jack Black; GarySpFc

The Russian "Mob" is hardly in control even within their own territory. The largest and most power mafia groups within Russia are Chechen, Georgian, Armenian and Azeri. The Russians got a butt-kicking in the 90s via contract killings and arrests. Since most of their wealth comes from "goods" that transit through the Kavkaz and the various Stans, it's logical the southern ethnic groups would have the most influence. Chechens control the majority of organized prostitution in Moscow - the majority of prostitutes are Ukrainian village girls - known in Moscow and St. Petersburg as the "Ukrainian Army."

Ethnic Russian (and Jewish) mafia groups have evolved into more or less "legit" shady businessmen leaving the killing fields to the groups mentioned above.


16 posted on 09/04/2006 8:41:53 PM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: Jack Black

Sure sounds like they are RUSSIANS from the RUSSIAN MOB according to this. ==

No they sound as jew(Mikhel), lithvinian(Kadamovas) and ukranian(Petro Krylov) from former Soviet Union.


17 posted on 09/05/2006 6:45:11 AM PDT by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: NormsRevenge
This is the first I have heard of these horrible crimes - while I have heard endless discussion of Karr's meal on the plane and sickening repetition of his words whispered over the phone.
18 posted on 09/05/2006 6:57:04 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: RusIvan

For some reason people equate "russian" with "soviet"*, or russian speaking.

Kind of like MiG is a russian plane, its really not by your definition. :)


19 posted on 09/05/2006 8:49:37 AM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: BrooklynGOP

D00d, their all commie marxists, what's the diff if their Lithuanian or Georgian or Russian or whatever. Who teh cares?

Not teh I.


20 posted on 09/05/2006 8:54:35 AM PDT by Texaggie79 (www.cannonblodder.com)
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To: BrooklynGOP

Kind of like MiG is a russian plane, its really not by your definition. :)==

Until 1991 MIG was soviet plane but today it is russian plane:). SO all the models of MIG after 1991 are russian.

Those people mentioned in article are no russian but former soviets. Or yourslelf can suddenly become a "russian" can't you?:)


21 posted on 09/05/2006 12:10:32 PM PDT by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: RusIvan
Until 1991 MIG was soviet plane but today it is russian plane:). SO all the models of MIG after 1991 are russian.

How can a plane that was invented by an Armenian and a Jew be russian? :)
22 posted on 09/05/2006 12:57:38 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: BrooklynGOP

How can a plane that was invented by an Armenian and a Jew be russian? :)==

Those 2 guys invented MIG-3 to MIG-17. Today is MIG-29OMT already. Those 2 was founders of MIG brand in Soviet Union. No one deny thier achivements.
But it is history of USSR. Now there are Russia.


23 posted on 09/05/2006 10:38:40 PM PDT by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: RusIvan

But you get my point. "Russian" can mean 2 things. Ethnicity and nationality.


24 posted on 09/05/2006 10:43:47 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: BrooklynGOP

But you get my point. "Russian" can mean 2 things. Ethnicity and nationality.===

You shoul dknow that in Russia "Russian" means ethnicity but "Rossianin" means nationality. Abroad they mixed those 2 definitions.
You know better then average american as you ar eformer soviet youself so you should help them to understand but not to confuse them even further.


25 posted on 09/05/2006 10:52:58 PM PDT by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: RusIvan
you should help them to understand but not to confuse them even further.

But I think its you that's confused. It's rathre simple. French - a citizen of France. English - citizen of England. Australian - citizne of Australia. Russian - citizen of Russia.

26 posted on 09/05/2006 10:55:32 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: khnyny
Actually maybe it should be on Greta. Seems these types of crimes are on the rise.

I think you're right. There are a lot questions that need to be answered,at least in my mind.

I wonder if the abductors were legal or illegal immigrants,same question about the victims. I also wonder if they came here to escape persecution after the dissolution of the Soviet Union,and if so why. Had they been communists and were now fleeing and if so why did we accept them? Were the Chechins,Moslems,how about the others? How did they all become bedfellows?

On another thread on Free Republic there was a discussion on the Russians in Brighton Beach,comments indicated that it was populated by Russian immigrants who were all on Social Security Disability or involved in phony insurance claims and other like natured scams.

It would be nice to actually discuss and pursue the facts on this type of scandal,since it has far reaching implications with regards to the type of society we are in the process of establishing as a replacement for what we once had.

27 posted on 09/06/2006 1:15:27 AM PDT by saradippity
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To: BrooklynGOP

But I think its you that's confused. It's rathre simple. French - a citizen of France. English - citizen of England. Australian - citizne of Australia. Russian - citizen of Russia.==

So you mean that african or arab the citizens of France are Frenches?:) I have to notice that there no the citizen of England:). But citizens of UK or GB. So english men are the ethnicity of England. As Scotts is the ethnicity of Scotland.

By the way accroding to you the Jew is the citizen of Israel? Or there are another name of Israel citizenry? Maybe Israelies?
Because if not then arabs who are the citizens of Israel may become Jews according to you:)).

SO if for Israel there are 2 different definions for nationality and ethnicity then why not for Russia? There are 2: Russian(ethnicity) vs Rossianin(citizenry). Q.E.D.

P.S. As for former soviet citizens mentioned in this article they were "sovoks" nethier Russians nor Rossianins.


28 posted on 09/06/2006 1:21:26 AM PDT by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: RusIvan
So you mean that african or arab the citizens of France are Frenches?:)

That's right. They are.

Because if not then arabs who are the citizens of Israel may become Jews according to you:)).

Uh, no. The country's name is Israel, not Jewland, hence they are not Jews, but Israelis.

As for former soviet citizens mentioned in this article they were "sovoks" nethier Russians nor Rossianins.

They are? Does the article mention their citizneship status?

29 posted on 09/06/2006 4:17:45 AM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: BrooklynGOP

Because if not then arabs who are the citizens of Israel may become Jews according to you:)).

Uh, no. The country's name is Israel, not Jewland, hence they are not Jews, but Israelis.==

Same way Russia self-name is "Rossya" hence the Russia citizen is "Rossyanin". But Russian defines the ethnicity.

As for former soviet citizens mentioned in this article they were "sovoks" nethier Russians nor Rossianins.

They are? Does the article mention their citizneship status?==

Those 3 men are not Russians nor Rossyanins then they are probably former "sovoks". Got now?:)


30 posted on 09/06/2006 6:32:52 AM PDT by RusIvan ("THINK!" the motto of IBM)
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To: RusIvan
Same way Russia self-name is "Rossya" hence the Russia citizen is "Rossyanin". But Russian defines the ethnicity.

Okay. How does one say "Rossyanin" in English?

Those 3 men are not Russians nor Rossyanins then they are probably former "sovoks". Got now?:)

What am I missing here? Does this article explicitly mention that they are not citizens of Russia? For all we know they could've gotten to the US 2 months before the murder took place.

31 posted on 09/06/2006 8:33:19 AM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: RusIvan

If you were born in RUSSIA or call Russia your home... I don't give a ##%@ what color, creed, religion, whatever, you are. You are RUSSIAN.

Period, end of story.


32 posted on 09/06/2006 8:37:24 AM PDT by Texaggie79 (www.cannonblodder.com)
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To: saradippity

Yes, lots of questions, but will it be covered and will there be answers? Probably not. It's too hot a story to handle and most "journalists" are wusses when it comes right down to it. Let's put it this way - the journalists aren't exactly afraid of John Mark Karr or those lacrosse saps down in North Carolina; therefore, 24-7 coverage.


33 posted on 09/06/2006 9:17:21 AM PDT by khnyny (Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.- Winston Churchill)
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To: Romanov

Yes. Ukrainians are also well represented in the "Russian Mafia".


34 posted on 09/06/2006 9:21:05 AM PDT by Scotsman will be Free
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To: Texaggie79; RusIvan

This link has another take on the story that explains a little more about the ethnicities and citizenship of the accused:

http://www.jewishjournal.com/home/preview.php?id=8335


35 posted on 09/06/2006 11:17:18 AM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: Romanov
Here, to the media, to the Americans, we are all the same, we are all ‘Russians.’

Cuz they are all from Russia. Stupid Russians don't even know they are Russians. That's what a commie education gets ya I guess.

36 posted on 09/06/2006 11:52:43 AM PDT by Texaggie79 (www.cannonblodder.com)
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To: Texaggie79

I guess you cannot understand the difference? First of all, they're NOT all from Russia. Calling the Lithuanian citizen a Russian is about as accurate as calling someone from Texas an Oklahoman.

Secondly, there is a difference between being a "Russian" and a "Russian citizen" - two different words in Russian - Rossiyanin (inhabitant of the Russian Federation, regardless of ethnicity) and Russkyj (an ethnic Russian). Unfortunately, other countries do pay attention to ethnicities - a trait that is unfortunately cropping up here in the USA. And lastly, they were all legal immigrants, as I understand it, so what we are talking about is American citizens/immigrants, or what most call "Americans."


37 posted on 09/06/2006 2:16:59 PM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: Romanov
Calling the Lithuanian citizen a Russian is about as accurate as calling someone from Texas an Oklahoman.

Exactly. A fact that is only important to Texan's and Oklahomans. I don't expect to go over to the other side of the world and there still to be a distinction between the two. They are both Americans.

If they come from Russia, or one of those slavic nations around it, as far as I am concerned, as well as the rest of America, they are RUSSIAN.

Unfortunately, other countries do pay attention to ethnicities - a trait that is unfortunately cropping up here in the USA.

Ya well, that trait come's here to die. The blood in your veins, the color of your skin, the color of your hair, none of it matters. It's all about where you grew up.

38 posted on 09/06/2006 2:23:34 PM PDT by Texaggie79 (www.cannonblodder.com)
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To: NormsRevenge

We need to put a stop to ALL immigration until we get a few things sorted out in this country. 1.2 million legal immigrants a year is too much to process. They're letting too many criminals in.


39 posted on 09/06/2006 2:26:21 PM PDT by dljordan
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To: NormsRevenge

To think kidnappers not releasing their victims after payment...you can't trust anybody now-adays...


40 posted on 09/06/2006 2:27:08 PM PDT by NormB (Yes, but watch your cookies!!)
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To: Texaggie79

Unfortunately you're applying American philosophy to foreign states. If you call a Russian a Ukrainian, he'll pop you in the nose and vice versa. The same reaction a Texan would have if I called him an Okie. However, both are Americans. As far as this case is concerned: Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Belarus, Russia, etc., are ALL Sovereign Nations. The Soviet Union, thanks to Ronald Reagan, ceased to exist Dec 91.


41 posted on 09/06/2006 2:36:50 PM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: Texaggie79
If you were born in RUSSIA or call Russia your home... I don't give a ##%@ what color, creed, religion, whatever, you are. You are RUSSIAN.

If you were born in RUSSIA TEXAS or call Russia Texas your home... I don't give a ##%@ what color, creed, religion, whatever, you are. You are RUSSIAN TEXAN.

Still agree with that logic consdering we have yankee transplants, illegal aliens and muslims that refuse to assimilate here?

42 posted on 09/06/2006 2:54:50 PM PDT by Centurion2000 (Property tax is feudalism. Income taxes are armed robbery of the minority by the majority.)
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To: Romanov
there is a difference between being a "Russian" and a "Russian citizen" - two different words in Russian - Rossiyanin (inhabitant of the Russian Federation, regardless of ethnicity) and Russkyj (an ethnic Russian).

Actually, I am sure both of us can dig up plenty of examples of chess champions, inventors, etc., being to referred to as "russki" vs. "rossi'ski" without anyone bothering to correct the "error". This issue only comes up when criminals are being discussed :)

43 posted on 09/06/2006 4:17:26 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: BrooklynGOP

Actually, at least on FR, it comes up often. You know - with the "Russians" Stalin, Trotsky, Zinoviev, Beria, Menzhinsky, Yagoda, Drzhenskij, Khrushev, Brezhnev being used as examples by some to show "inherent evil" in the Russian race. Of course, you're surely well aware that the above are Georgian, Jewish, Mengrelian, Polish, and Ukrainian... ;)

This is a common trait regardless of the country. Mel Gibson was called an "Australian" by the British press until he made "Braveheart" and then they "discovered" his American origins...


44 posted on 09/06/2006 4:27:14 PM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: BrooklynGOP

PS - Richard Harris used to say the Brits would call him British when he received awards and accolades and label him Irish when he was arrested or made a drunken spectacle of himself.


45 posted on 09/06/2006 4:28:33 PM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: Romanov

I definately see your point, but this is not due to some conspiracy - there's just no seperate terms for Russki and Rossi'ski. Just as there's no separate terms to distinguish ethnicity and nationality when it comes to French, Italian, etc.


46 posted on 09/06/2006 5:35:10 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: BrooklynGOP

Agreed, but Kaganovich was from Ukraine, Stalin from Georgia, and Beria a Mengrelian from Georgia - all separate countries before the disaster.


47 posted on 09/06/2006 5:40:49 PM PDT by Romanov (Golytsinites = "Lenin's Useful Idiots denying Reagan's Legacy")
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To: Dante3
This is the first I have heard of these horrible crimes

It got a fair amount of local play in L.A. when they were arrested a couple of years ago.

48 posted on 09/06/2006 5:44:08 PM PDT by Heyworth
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To: Romanov

Well Georgia and Ukraine were part of the Russian empire before the revolution :)


49 posted on 09/06/2006 5:52:17 PM PDT by BrooklynGOP (www.logicandsanity.com)
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To: Centurion2000
Still agree with that logic consdering we have yankee transplants, illegal aliens and muslims that refuse to assimilate here?

Of course. I'm not talking about personal opinion here. I'm talkin geographical fact.

50 posted on 09/06/2006 5:56:40 PM PDT by Texaggie79 (www.cannonblodder.com)
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