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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Drawing the Line on U.S. Waters and Iron Felix

In response to "Geopolitics or Just a Load of Pollocks?" a column by Yulia Latynina on Sept. 11.

I am the attorney for the vessel Viytna, which was seized by the U.S. government. I was also the attorney for the vessel Petropavlovsk and two prior Russian fishing vessels seized by the United States for fishing in U.S. waters.

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My reason for writing is to correct an important fact in Yulia Latynina's otherwise fine article. Latynina states that the captain of the Petropavlovsk claimed "the border line on his map had been accidentally smudged." In fact, the captain claimed his map did not have the Baker-Shevardnadze line on it at all. I personally saw that map and can vouch that it did not have that line on it.

The Petropavlovsk was approximately 10 kilometers beyond the Baker-Shevardnadze line on the U.S. side when caught. It was that far over the line precisely because the captain's map, purchased in Russia, did not have the line on it. I view it as important to make this clarification because, to this day, I firmly believe that the vessel's crossing of the line was inadvertent.

Dan Harris
Seattle, Washington

Time Is Rolling Back

In response to "Luzhkov Wants to Resurrect Iron Felix," a story by Nabi Abdullaev on Sept. 16.

I have been in part relying on The Moscow Times web site for news of what is happening back home for over two years. But time does not stand still, and sometimes it even rolls back. During the time I have been away from home, both our anthem and the army's flag have been changed back to those of the Soviet era, and now they are considering re-erecting a statue of mass murderer Felix Dzerzhinsky. It is an insult and disgrace to our Russian heritage.

It is clear that Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov did not have any relatives who rotted in gulag cells packed to 15 times their capacity. How quickly he has forgiven Dzerzhinsky his sins.

Luzhkov urges us rather to focus this sadist's "positive achievements." He says Dzerzhinsky solved the problem of homeless children. If he had not killed so many millions, there would not have been so many orphans in the first place.

Luzhkov, if you truly are that concerned for the children, why not have your architects come up with a monument that portrays all that grief, confusion and agony those kids experienced having their parents massacred?

Angela Nunez
Lansing, Michigan

Virtual Marriages

In response to "An Unhappy Internet Marriage to America," an essay by Maria Danilova on Sept. 18.

I am a 57-year-old man involved with a Russian lady, and the story I read in your newspaper of the lady who married a man in Maryland got me real mad. That man should be arrested and put in jail for the way he treated her.

That lady's husband broke federal law when he kept her for applying for a work permit. My lady and I have been e-mailing each other for almost a year now. I love this lady, and the only thing keeping us apart is money for airplane tickets and a place to stay in Russia for a week. We will make it because we have true love for each other, not a housemaid thing like that bum in Maryland.

Alvin D. Ruff
Dover, New Hampshire

I read this article with interest. I am an American married to a Russian woman. We have been married almost six years and have two children, one from her previous marriage in Belarus, and one we had three years ago. My wife and her daughter are now U.S. citizens, and my wife has a full-time job and is starting college this fall. I know several other couples like us, and I would say that ours is much more typical than what this article leads readers to believe.

But the situation in the article does happen. Tatyana was coming back to the United States to wait it out for her Green Card. The problem is that in order for her to get the card, she will have to have an interview with the nationalization service proving that her marriage is legit. Obviously, that is no longer the case, and I doubt that her horrible American husband is going to lie for her. She does have another option, and that is to file the necessary documents that she was abused by this man.

It must be stressed that no one should ever marry someone they are not interested in just to get a better life. That is only a recipe for more trouble.

James R. Zieche
Everett, Washington

U.S. Visa Woes

Since July 22, without notice and no explanations given other than "administrative problems," the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has stopped given K-1 visas for Russian fiancees to come to the United States. This is after the fiancees were told they were approved to receive their visas. This stoppage has created many financial and emotional hardships placed on not only the women in Russia but the men here in the United States as well.

My fiancee had her interview Monday, July 22, and was told that morning that she was approved to receive a K-1 visa. That same afternoon when she went to pick up her visa, she was given a telephone number to call instead and was told to call back in two days.

Two days later she was told to call back in a week, and since then she or I have been told to call back "next week" -- for the past eight weeks now! Not one time was I ever told this would take eight weeks or longer. The reason given was administrative delays.

My fiancee has sold her home, her car, her belongings and quit her job in the belief that she would be flying to the United States on July 31. Still she is waiting in Moscow in a friend's apartment.

I have written to my congressmen, the State Department and the U.S. Embassy, but no one has replied.

Michael Kilpatrick
Houston, Texas