During introductory remarks at last week's money-laundering hearings, House Banking Chairman Jim Leach surprised everyone -- including the Russian parliament members in attendance -- by abruptly switching from English to Russian.

"Americans and Russians together successfully fought the greatest war of our times, World War II, against the forces of fascism," the Iowa Republican said in Russian. "This hearing is held to underscore the help Congress wants to give the Russian people and reformers in the Duma. We want money stolen from Russia by a new class of corrupted politicians and entrepreneurs returned to Russia for the benefit of the Russian people."

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