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Windows to Russia

Цикл передач по книге “Закон Божий для семьи и школы” протоиерея Серафима Слободского. Сайт проекта:

Windows To Russia!

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Have a read about what you have to do to cross American borders with ammunition and firearms.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) regulates and restricts firearms and ammunition; and approves all import transactions involving weapons and ammunition. If you want to import or export weapons or ammunition, you must do so through a licensed importer, dealer, or manufacturer. Also, if the National Firearms Act prohibits certain weapons, ammunition, or similar devices from coming into the country, you will not be able to import them unless the ATF provides you with written authorization to do so.

You do not need an ATF permit if you can demonstrate that you are returning with the same firearms or ammunition that you took out of the United States. To prevent problems when returning, you should register your firearms and related equipment by taking them to any CBP office before you leave the United States. The CBP officer will register them on the same CBP Form-4457 used to register cameras or computers. (See the section on Register Items Before You Leave the United States).

For further information about importing weapons, contact the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20226; or call (202) 927-8320; or ( Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ) .

Many countries will not allow you to enter with a firearm even if you are only traveling through the country on the way to your final destination. If you plan to take your firearms or ammunition to another country, you should contact officials at that country’s embassy to learn about its regulations.

Kyle & Svet

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I was thinking this morning over a cup of coffee about what could Americans use for rules and regulations coming into Russia. I guess that you can use the source that I have used and crossed borders with. LINK….

I am printing this to help anyone else from having to go through what Pastor Phillip Miles has gone through. I am also printing this because many people have exclaimed that there are no rules for crossing the Russian Border and that Russian is not helpful to Americans with their English Language. So here you have in English on a Russian Website the Rules of Border crossing.

Admission of individuals, vehicles, cargo, goods and animals is carried out in checkpoints set by the Government of the Russian Federation. Admission is either acknowledgment of lawful arrival to Russia via the State border as well as import of cargo, goods and animals or permission to cross the border leaving the country as well as to export items mentioned above.
Legal foundations for admission are valid travel documents for individuals and appropriate documents for vehicles, cargo, goods and animals.
Basic elements of admission check are border guard/immigration, customs, health, phytosanitary and veterinary.

The documents one needs to pass through border control normally are valid passport or equal travel document if accepted under international treaties, and Russian visa (for aliens only).
Alien and/or stateless persons are required to fill in a migration card.

* Citizens of Russia entering the country are to produce Russian passports. Still in case of loss or damage to the passport, other reliable proof of Russian citizenship is enough to enter.
* For Russian citizens under 14 to travel to some of the Commonwealth of Independent States countries, birth and citizenship certificates can be produced instead of passports.
* Russian minors under 18 years, leaving the Russian Federation and travel-ling without neither parents nor other wardship, are required to hold a parental authorization letter in the Russian language and notarized by a lawyer, stating that the minor is permitted to leave the Russian Federation.

A simplified set of travel documents necessary to enter Russia may be stated by an international treaty. For example, most air companies crewmembers are not required to produce neither passport nor visa but for ICAO-established identities along with the flight’s General Declaration.

A right of some individuals to travel via Russian borders can be restricted in accordance with the legislation of the Russian Federation.
Aliens previously expelled from Russia for offences cannot enter the country since one year since the date of expulsion.
To travel abroad, a Russian citizen sentenced incapable by a court of law must be accompanied by a tutorial guardianship to provide security for both the incapable and people around.
Unadmissable foreigners are those forbidden to enter Russia in cases set by the law i.e.

* improper travel documents,
* AIDS/HIV-infection,
* convictions for felonies or misdemeanors,
* unlawful pursuits of entry,
* fraudulent presentation of personal or other travel information,
* security risk.

A person, no matter national, foreign or stateless, may occur a subject of restriction to leave Russia if appropriate legal grounds exist i.e.

* a citizen has been privy to the information constituting state secrets
* criminal or civil proceedings have been instituted against a person
* a person has received a court’ sentence for having committed a crime
* a citizen has resorted to fraudulent representation
* a citizen is drafted to military service
* a person evades from the fulfillment of obligations imposed by a court of law.

Normally, the restrictions are active until the circumstances preventing the citizen’s exit cease to be in effect.

Non-compliance with the entry or transit regulations may result in fines for both carrier and passenger and either deportation by same airline on first available flight or indefinite delay for passenger at point of entry. If carrier can prove that at boarding point passenger had proper documents to enter or to transit the territory of Russian Federation, the passenger may be fined.

Required, except for holders of:

* Laissez Passer issued by the United Nations and/or other countries, provided
holding entry documents and confirmed tickets for a country outside Russian
* ICAO crew member identities, if provided by international treaties. Additionally a General Declaration is required.
* Seaman Book, provided traveling on du-ty.
* Documents for stateless persons and ref-ugees, issued by country in which they reside.

Passports/equal papers and visas must be valid for period of intended stay.
Russian Federation issues its own national passport. The passports issued by Russian Federation using blanks of the former U.S.S.R. documents are valid until expiry date shown in the passports.

Required for citizens of most countries.
Please ask your airline or travel agent for details.


* Normally issued prior to arrival by embassies/consulates of Russian Federation abroad.
* Beyond Russia, applicants must submit an invitation from friends, relatives or business/study relations, validated by local Russian authorities.
* Passengers exceeding a stay of 3 months should present an Aids Test Certificate together with a visa ap-plication form to the consular department or embassy of the Russian Federation. Fraudulent representation causes refusal or, if revealed in the port of entry, fines and deportation.


* Those continuing their journey to a third country within 24 hours provided holding confirmed onward tickets and all documents required for next destination. Leaving the transit area is not allowed. If transiting via St. Petersburg – Pulkovo airport passenger must arrive and depart on the same day between 07.00 a.m. and 10.00 p m. Passenger needs a transit visa if switching between Terminal 1 and Terminal 2.
* If transiting via Moscow – Sheremetyevo airport and staying longer than 24 hours. obtaining the transit visa prior to arrival is required Hotel accommodation is available at Sheremetyevo Moscow airport.
* Stateless persons and refugees can only transit without visa if they transit within 24 hours.
* Nationals of Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Poland, Yugoslavia Fed. Rep. holding normal passports and airplane tickets, enjoy 72-hours transit without visa.
* Passengers transiting Russian Fed. and continuing to Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bela-rus, Kazakstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Ukraine or Uzbekistan must:
o hold visa and all other required documents for next destination, and either
o hold visa for entry Russian Fed. prior to arrival, or
o obtain visa on arrival. A 24 hours transit visa can be obtained on providing air ticket and visa, if necessary, to the point of final destination

However, obtaining the transit visa prior to arrival is strongly recommended, as visa issue on arrival can cause consider-able delay.

Must travel on duty and hold Letter of Guarantee of shipping compa-ny.

* Arriving by air to board ship, or arriving by ship to board aircraft.
* Visa not required if nationality of seaman is Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Poland, Ro-mania, Slovak Republic, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Croatia, FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), Yugoslavia Fed. Rep.;
* Direct transit to abroad: visa not re-quired if nationality of seaman is listed above; all other nationalities if continuing to a third country by same aircraft without leaving the airport.

Same regulations as for passengers apply.

All alien persons entering Russia are to fill in an immigration form to produce one to the passport control. It is strongly recommended to do the form before passport control in block Lain letters. The blanks are available onboard your aircraft. Please ask your airline flight attendant for help to do the form properly.
Upon departure, the B section of the immigration form must be produced to the passport control.
Please see chapter MIGRATION CONTROL PROCEDURE for details.


* In cases when alien’s documents produced to enter Russia are lost or missing, temporary travel documents for exit must be issued to the alien by embassy/consulate of the country one belongs/resides. Besides, Russian exit visa must be obtained.
* Visas obtained in Sheremetyevo airport are valid for single entry only. They must be used within the periods and via the check points as indicated therein;
* Passengers holding tourist visas must also hold hotel vouchers.
* All passengers staying longer than 3 days in the Russian Federation must register their passports and visas through their hotel or sponsor.
* Passengers visiting relatives must regis-ter with local police upon arrival and have registration entered in their visa. If stay-ing in a hotel, this will be arranged by the hotel.
* If holding visa, return/onward tickets are not required. If holding transit visa it is
also required to hold onward tickets and documents required for next destination.
* To register with local police, taxes are to be paid for each day for each day in Moscow. Taxation rates are approx. USD 3.- per day but subject to change. Tax has to be paid upon check in at the hotel. If duration of stay is unknown tax has to be paid upon check out.

Carried out by Customs personnel.

Please mind the customs update information available either at panels before customs line or by phone (+7 095) 578-21-20.

By persons of 16 years and older

* 1000 cigarettes or 1000 grammes of tobacco products.
* 1 1/2 litres of alcoholic beverages and 2 liters of wine.
* a reasonable quantity of perfume for personal use.
* Residents: goods up to an amount of USD 10,000.- for personal use only.
Non-residents: goods up to an amount of USD 10,000.-.
* Currency: unlimited (please see CURRENCY chapters).

Photographs and printed matter directed against Russian Federation or health and moral of population therein, military arms and ammunition, narcotics (opium, hashish, etc.), fruit and vegetables.

‘Goods to declare’ passage channels are to be taken for the cases of possession:

* unattended baggage sent separately and/or by other plane or vehicle;
* securities;
* precious metals an/or stones, except for jewelry previously imported as personal effects. Precious metals are gold, silver, platinum as well as metals of platinum origin but for jewelry or scrap of one made of metals mentioned above. Precious stones are diamonds both rough and cut, rubies, sapphires, alexandrite and pearls;
* weapon, including cold steel, ammunition and explosives;
* narcotic and/or psychotropic substances and other similar substances;
* objects d’art and antiques, i.e. paintings/watercolors, sculptures, coins, award orders/medals, postage stamps and other items of artistic, historical, scientific and/or other value;
* poisonous and/or contaminative substances as well as medicines with strong soporific and/or anaesthetic effect;
* radioactive matters;
* endangered species of wild fauna and flora, parts and products thereof;
* radio facilities and high-frequency devices using frequencies higher than 9 KHz, including both transmitters and receivers, i.e. telephones, radio stations, radio navigation systems, radio direction finders, cable TV systems and other similar devices;
* printed matters, negative and exposed films, photographic negatives and prints, video programs containing information constituting either state secrets or war, fascism, ethnical/religious intolerance propaganda or pornography;
* goods exceeding quantity/quality/value duty-free quotas set by legislation of the Russian Federation;
* goods for commercial and/or industrial purposes.

Persons, including those moving abroad to a new abode, are allowed to export goods under the value of $ 10,000 duty and tax free except those for commercial and/or industrial use. The exportation can be done in either way including postage. A simplified customs procedure of the exportation is provided.

Individual residents are allowed to export foreign currencies in a lump cash sum, if the total value of $ 10,000 not exceeded. Given this, no documentary confirmation of previous import, postage or transfer required.
No declaration required for residents exporting foreign currencies of a total value not more than $ 3,000 in a lump cash sum. Given the cash value exceeding, a declaration in written form must be done.

Please mind the written declaration must be done by filling in the form and walking through the red channel. The form blanks are available in most world spread languages on desks before customs lines.

No declaration required for credit cards of any value, no matter resident or not.

Individual non-residents are allowed to export foreign currencies in a lump cash sum, if the total value of $ 10,000 not exceeded. Given this, no documentary confirmation of previous import, postage, transfer or purchase required. Besides the sum, previously imported foreign currency can be exported by individual non-residents if properly confirmed. The confirmation is the entry customs declaration with imported sum written in and stamped by a customs official.

To declare currency upon entry, written declaration must be done and the red channel chosen. The form blanks are available on desks before customs lines as well.

Export of foreign currencies in a lump cash sum exceeding the total value of $ 10,000 by individual non-residents is not allowed. The restriction is not active regarding the currency previously imported and properly confirmed in the customs declaration.
No declaration required for individual non-residents exporting foreign currencies of a total value not more than $ 3,000 in a lump cash sum. Given the cash value exceeding, a declaration in written form must be done.

Russian currency (Russian rubles) of a value not exceeding 500 guaranteed minimum wages, i.e. RR 50,000 for today is allowed for export in a lump cash sum.
Foreign currency traveler’s cheques, no face value restricted, can be exported on producing a certificate either form 0406007 issued by a Russian authorized bank or other appropriate form issued by the customs upon entry.

While importing traveler’s cheques, written declaration is recommended in order to avoid ones’ export hindrance.

No official copy of the customs declaration can be issued in case of loss or damage.


Green channels are to be taken for free entry customs formalities for cases listed below:

* no unattended baggage sent separately by neither other plane nor vehicle;
* no forbidden/restricted items in the baggage attended by owner;
* goods imported by individual residents not exceed both the value of $ 1,000 and weight of 50 kilograms (approx.110 1/4 lbs).

Goods exceeding the quotas are liable to customs tax and duty at a common rate of 30 % of value estimated by the customs still not less than ? 4 per kilogram (approx. 2 1/5 lbs).

Individual residents with period of staying abroad over 6 months are allowed to import goods of a value up to $ 5,000 duty and tax free, no matter attended or not.

* a total amount of Russian currency (Russian Roubles) in possession not exceed the value of 500 guaranteed minimum wages, i.e. RR 50,000 for today;
* no foreign currency in possession to be exported afterwards;
* currency in cash not exceeding the total value of $ 10,000;

No limits set for amount of foreign currency in cash to be imported. Either individual no matter resident or not is allowed to do so by declaring the sum at the customs.
Foreign currency imported by a legal entity is a subject of the common customs procedure, including cargo bill of entry in production.

Duty must be paid if following quotas are exceeded: 2 liters of liquors per person older than 21; 400 pieces of tobacco items, i.e. cigars, cigarillos, cigarettes, per person reached age of 18; 250 grams of sturgeon caviar, industrially canned only, per person.

Import/export license required for goods liable to regulation of some official authorities, i.e. Ministry of Interior for weapon, Ministry of Culture for objects d’art and antiques, Ministry of agriculture for plants and animals as well as products thereof. Please mind tables below.

Individual non-residents are allowed to temporarily import goods they need for private use while in Russia duty and tax free. The goods must be declared upon initial entry. The goods imported temporarily can not be neither alienated/sold/gifted nor given at alien use/possession/disposal.
Surplus goods over the quotas are subject of common tariff and/or non-tariff regulation provided for foreign trade as well as taxation.
If goods declared or revealed to be imported for industrial/commercial purposes, either cargo bill of entry in is to be issued or goods to be detained until exported beyond the Russian Federation.

Arriving non-residents intending to export foreign currency afterwards, are to declare currency upon entry. To do so, written declaration must be done and the red channel chosen.

Violation of the customs rules will be prosecuted in compliance with the law of the Russian Federation, i.e. the Customs Code except cases provided either by the Code of administrative misdemeanors or by the Criminal Code.
If a disagreement against a customs act appeared, whether regarding value of goods or not, an application can be done as it is set by the Customs Code, part XIII. To consider the appeal, an expert examination of goods can be set by a customs higher authority. The cost of the examination is to be paid by goods owner/handler.

Goods type Authority and permission required to export
Firearms and cold steel, ammunition ‘Permission to export’, police local stations
Sturgeon caviar, industrially canned only, exceeding 250 grams per person. Export license, Ministry of economical development local offices.
All kinds of sturgeon fish and products thereof Export license, Ministry of economical development local offices.
Cultural values, incl. all kinds of collection, paintings/watercolors, icons, musical instruments, items made 50 years ago and older, etc. ‘Certificate’ issued by Ministry of Culture local offices or bill of entry in, form TD-6, issued by the customs.

Goods type Authority and permission required for admission
Firearms and cold steel, ammunition ‘Permission to import’, police local stations
Radio devices, i.e. radiotelephones, radio stations, satellite communication systems etc., except for commercial hand phones. ‘Permission’ issued by State communication surveillance authority local offices.
Sturgeon caviar, industrially canned only, exceeding 250 grams per person. Export license, Ministry of economical development local offices.
All kinds of sturgeon fish and products thereof Export license, Ministry of economical development local offices.

Please mind the figures are subjects to change

Carried out by Border Quarantine Inspection personnel subordinate to the Ministry of Health.
Normally no vaccinations are required to enter Russia from any country.

Passengers exceeding a stay of 3 months in Russia should present an AIDS Test Certificate together with a visa application form to the consular department or embassy of the Russian Federation.

Live animals are subject to special permit.
Pets i.e. cats, dogs and other animals, birds (except pigeons) and fish must be accompanied by veterinarian health certificate bearing seal of local Board of Health and issued no more than ten days prior to arrival. Pigeons are prohibited entry.

Generally pets are not permitted in hotels.

Fruit and vegetables are prohibited.

Random, upon arrival for refugees and foreigners seeking permanent abode in Russia only.
Carried out by Immigration Control points subordinate to the Ministry of Interior.

No airport tax is levied on passengers upon embarkation at the airport.

Here is what the American Government says about breaking the law in Russia:
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country’s laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating Russian laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Russia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.

So read and learn, crossing into another country is an experience that many Americans never understand. (Mexico & Canada not included!)

There is a saying in America, “Do not ASSUME, for ……….”

Kyle & Svet

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We found Ukraine to be a pleasure to travel. As always the people of Ukraine are friendly and helpful if need be. I myself find Ukrainians to be a little more expressive than Russians.

The border crossing at Belgorod, Russia was smooth and very fast. The last time we crossed a year ago by car, it took us hours. This time it was minutes and painless. Seems that Russia and Ukraine have worked on their boarder policies & they are much better.

The thing about border crossings is to be honest. If they ask you do you have weapons, drugs or artifacts. Be honest and show them what you have, if in doubt. Do not cross green line* unless you are sure that you are safe. They will and do check your trunks & bags for any illegal items. I also let my Russian Wife do the talking. My command of the language is poor at best & would only hurt more than help to try to communicate.

*Red line & Green line: When crossing a border you have two options to cross. Red mean you have declarations for your protection and will be searched for any and all items. Green means you have no declarations and may or may not be searched. If green is declared do not get caught with unlawful items. (it means you lied)

Kyle & Svet

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RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 17:59:56.Head of the Russian air force, Colonel-General Alexander Zelin, today denied any links of the Russian military aviation to the shooting-down of an unmanned aircraft in Abkhazia’s airspace. ”The Russian air force had nothing to do with it, we have absolutely no business on the territory where the incident took place,” he told journalists.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 17:23:10.President of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs Alexander Shokhin told journalists today that a decision on a VAT rate change must be made as soon as possible. Tax decisions should be made before a long-term program (until 2020) is approved and a three-year budget is presented to the State Duma, Shokhin noted. He was wary that tax changes would not be reflected in the three-year budget and, as a result, would not be implemented until 2012.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Sochi 16:28:45.Russia’s Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov assured the International Olympic Committee’s Coordination Commission during today’s meeting that Sochi would be fully prepared for the 2014 Olympic Games. The PM pointed out that a presidential council responsible for preparations for the Olympics had been set up and that its presidium maintained strict control over the preparations. Combined with Russia’s economic and political stability, this gives confidence that an ultra-modern sports center, as well as an international resort will be built in Sochi, Zubkov noted.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 16:00:46.Less than an hour and a half before the close of today’s special dollar trading session for tomorrow deals, the weighted average exchange rate stood at 23.39 RUB/USD, RUB 0.04 lower than the official rate set by the Bank of Russia for April 23. The current developments on MICEX can be attributed to the dollar’s continuous decline against the euro on international exchanges. The latter is now trading at roughly USD 1.5940, up from around USD 1.5930 as of 3 p.m. Consequently, the European currency has advanced some 0.1 percent against the dollar on the global market over a short period.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 15:56:29.Russian President Vladimir Putin has invited the leaders of the CIS countries to participate in the 12th St. Petersburg International Economic Forum scheduled for June 6-8, the Russian President’s press office reported today. Among the forum’s main topics will be “National Economic Interests versus Global Governance Institutions” and “SWOT Analysis of the Russian Economy – Global Challenges and Opportunities up to 2020″. Putin also offered the CIS heads of state to hold an informal meeting as part of the forum program.

RBC, 22.04.2008, Moscow 15:31:31.The Russian stock market could continue to consolidate for several days, experts told RBC TV. Later, driven by a weaker dollar and rising commodity markets, Russian stocks are likely to rise, particularly the oil sector. LUKoil and Tatneft remain investors’ favorites among oil companies, performing better than the market. Gazprom is also said to start gaining ground soon.

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Looks like Russian Courts did not believe Pastor Miles either. He has been coming to Russia since before the fall of the Soviet Empire!
A Russian court on Monday sentenced a U.S. pastor to three years in prison for illegally bringing hunting ammunition into the country.

Phillip Miles was arrested in a Moscow airport in February for smuggling in a box with 20 rounds of undeclared hunting ammunition in his luggage.

Miles said at the time it was a present for his friend, a pastor from the Urals city of Perm.

Moscow’s Golovinsky district court ruled that the 52-year-old evangelist from Christ Community Church in Conway, South Carolina, will spend three years and two months in a prison camp.

South Carolina internet newspaper MyrtleBeachOnline said the ammunition was found by customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport in late January, when Miles was entering Russia.

Sheremetyevo airport: Pastor Phillip Miles was caught with bullets as he arrived

But the priest was allowed to continue his journey and was detained in Sheremetyevo on his way back from Perm.

Interfax news agency quoted Miles as saying he regretted violating Russian law, but he also called his sentence “severe”.

The court rejected arguments by Miles, who has visited Russia more than once, that he was unaware of customs regulations for bringing in ammunition.

Defence lawyers said they will appeal against the sentence in Moscow city court.
Looks like what I said is true, there is more to this than meets the eye……..

Kyle & Svet

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We are back from Vacation. We have lots of beautiful pictures & interesting stories to tell.

The only bad thing about the trip was that Russia is, Easy Internet non existent once you leave Moscow. The only way to have had any consistent Internet would be to have used GPRS with a sim card for your laptop. Dmitri Minaev from De Rebus Antiquis Et Novis, told me about using GPRS but at that point we had invested in wireless for WiFi.

We did not get to all towns that we wanted to travel to but we did travel around 5000 km.

So in the next few days we will post some of the highlights of our trip with lots of beautiful pictures.

The Russian Roads were wonderful, the Russian Road Cops were nice, the Russian People were fantastic & Southern Russia was a delight!

Stay tuned for more……

Kyle & Svet

comments always welcome.

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Phillip Miles has been in jail since he was arrested in Moscow on Feb. 3. In Russia, a person cannot possess ammunition without a permit.
MOSCOW: A U.S. pastor who admitted bringing hunting ammunition into Russia illegally did so only out of ignorance for Russian law, his lawyer argued Thursday.

Phillip Miles, 52, of South Carolina, has been jailed since his arrest on Feb. 3, five days after arriving in Russia carrying a box of rifle cartridges, which he said were a gift for a friend.

He has admitted bringing in the shells, but said he didn’t bother to check if Russian laws differed from U.S. laws.

Authorities say Miles could get slightly more than 3 years in prison if convicted for violating customs and firearms trafficking laws.

Vladimir Ryakhovsky, Miles’ lawyer, said customs officials at Moscow’s Sheremyetevo airport were partially at fault for not making it explicitly clear in English that travelers must declare ammunition, for sport or otherwise, when entering Russia.

He said Miles was an avid hunter and frequent visitor to Russia, where his supporters say he has done humanitarian work for years.

“My client is merely a victim of the American mentality … where it seems everything is possible everywhere in the world,” he told the Golovinsky District Court.

Miles, wearing a clerical collar, was brought to the courtroom in handcuffs and listened to proceedings from inside a courtroom cage, where defendants in Russian criminal courts are held during trial. He looked baffled at times as a translator struggled to keep up with testimony.

“I’m surviving. I’m OK,” he told reporters before the session began.

He again explained to the court that the shells were a gift for a friend and it did not occur to him to declare them to customs officials upon arriving in Russia on Jan. 29.

“I just didn’t realize it was against the law. I’m here just because of my ignorance,” he said. Judge Olga Drozdova, who at times joked with prosecutors and Ryakhovsky and glanced at her fingernails, appeared to sneer in response.

Closing arguments are set for Friday, after which a ruling is expected.

The case is to have a verdict on Monday, the 21st of April…….

Maybe his American mentality will get him of the hook? Do not forget that he has been traveling to Russia since before the Soviet Union times……. (my American mentality says no bullets in the first place)

Kyle & Svet

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As we had our morning cup of delicious Ukraine Coffee & Tea, we got our internet connection going.

We are having a blast on our trip. We decided to go to the Crimea in Ukraine. The weather is wonderful and warm.

We stopped on the first leg of our trip, at a town in Russia called Prohorovskoe(Belgorodskaya oblast’). We stayed in a hotel that Putin stayed in when he was in this town. We found out that Yeltsin had all the major monuments put in this area. The town has fantastic sites to see and beautiful churches.

The pictures are of the monuments and the big church near the motel. The last picture is of the Motel. This town had lots of battle tanks from WWII. There was a major tank battle at this spot.

We are now in the Yalta Hotel as we do this on their Wi-Fi system which is marginal at best. We are on the top floor of the Hotel (16th, which seems to have the best connection) to post this article. Our room is on the 9th floor.

We are going to look around for a few days in the Yalta area. There is a major Church Holiday on Monday (7th). On Tuesday we will be traveling to Sochi to see the Olympic city before all the construction is done.

Hope all is going well with everyone & we will post again Monday. (We will try?)

Happy Trails,

Svet & Kyle

comments always welcome.

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