NEW YORK Ч The Russians are not, as the old movie would have it, coming. Rather, many have gone. Some have just slammed the door on America Ч the country where, as one of them put it, his Russian friends have become ""slaves to the dollar"" Ч and have gone back home, to Moscow, to St. Petersburg and even to Kiev, Ukraine. And by voicing just what they feel, they have left in their wake a small but impassioned debate about how Russians really view the United States. It was a furor that journalists at The Russian Bazaar, a weekly newspaper based in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, scarcely expected when they published an article in July titled ""Why They Are Leaving."" In the story, Valentin Labunsky, a 49-year-old journalist from Kiev who has been in the United States four years, wrote at great length about the complaints of three departing immigrants: a 24-year-old female student, a 30-year-old male journalist and a 50-year-old former school headmaster.
ATLANTIC CITY, New Jersey -- Some 12,000 Russian-Americans went home Saturday - to the Trump Taj Mahal casino. In the concert hall behind the gambling tables, there was only one temptress: Alla Pugachyova, the self-styled goddess of Russian pop, Moscow's Tina Turner with a hint of Edith Piaf, whose songs have given voice to the yearnings of millions. In Russia, she has sold 150 million to 200 million records. She was decorated by the last Soviet president, Mikhail Gorbachev, and, on her 50th birthday last April, by the first Russian president, Boris Yeltsin. In the gray Soviet era, Alla was a blaze of color and life. She has big hair (red on most photos, but on Saturday night a mass of teased and tousled blondish curls), a big voice, billowing concert costumes and a slightly outlandish mouth that can utter anything from an obscenity to a blessing.