Man without a country pleads guilty to weapons charge in Calgary courtroom

A Calgary resident has pleaded guilty to a weapons offence his lawyer says he committed to try to get back to his homeland.

CALGARY — A Calgary resident has pleaded guilty to a weapons offence his lawyer says he committed to try to get back to his homeland.

Vladimir Shulakov is stuck in Canada because the country he once fled no longer exists. Two of the nations which had been part of the Soviet Union, Russia and Moldova, won’t recognize him.

Shulakov pleaded guilty Tuesday to using a firearm while uttering threats. His lawyer said it was Shulakov’s attempt to get recognition of his plight.

Court heard a 911 call from April 2007 in which Shulakov calls police asking for them to come with a TV news crew.

“I start kill if you don’t have TV right now,” he said in the call.

When officers arrested him, he was armed with two firearms.

Defence lawyer Adriano Iovinelli said Shulakov, 57, has been without legal status since he came to Canada in September 1992. He had fled the Soviet Union when a civil war broke out in Moldova.

All attempts to deport him failed, Iovinelli explained, because neither Moldova nor Russia would accept his client back.

“To this day I remain a citizen of the USSR, a country that has ceased to exist,” Shulakov said.

He was handed a 12-month sentence.

Actor Tom Hanks appeared in a 2004 movie called “The Terminal” about an Eastern European, who arrives at JFK Airport in New York after war breaks out in his country. He is denied entrance to the United States because he no longer has a valid passport, but can’t be deported either, so he lives in the airport terminal.

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