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Valery is a minor recurring antagonist in season three of The Sopranos.
Valery was born and raised in Russia in very poor living conditions and faced many hardships during his life, and he eventually joined the special forces group known as Spetsnaz, where he managed to kill sixteen Chechen rebels by himself during the Chechen war. Sometime later, Valery left the Soviet Union to go to the United States and joined the Russian Mafia in New Jersey, where he fell in love with the prosperous American life style he never had growing up and became very lazy.
...To Save Us All From Satan's Power
Valery makes a brief appearance where he drunkenly meets Tony Soprano as he sees the leader of the Russian mafia, Slava Malevsky, to discuss business.
Sometime later after Tony comes down sick with the flu, he tells Christopher Moltisanti and Paulie Gualtieri to go to Valery's apartments to collect debts that he owes to Silvio Dante. After arriving, he tells them where his money is and then attempts to order Paulie to put his tv remote back onto its docking station, but Paulie breaks it out of spite. Angered, Valery insults Paulie and the two begin fighting until he's choked unconscious with a lamp stand. Now having to get rid of Valery, Paulie and Chris wrap him up in a rug with duct tape and then put him into Paulie's trunk.
After driving out to Pine Barrens to bury him, Chris and Paulie discover that Valery wasn't dead as they thought he was since he attempted to chew through the tape, and they walk him through the snow planning on executing him. After forcing him to dig is own grave however, Valery hits Chris in the head with the shovel and kicks Paulie in the groin before running off, where he's eventually shot in the head by Paulie. To both of their astonishment however, Valery gets right back up and runs off out of sight. After following his blood trail, they find out he completely disappeared.
Valery's status has been one of the biggest mysteries in the entire history of the show and many have wondered what happened to Valery after he managed to escape being nearly executed and shot in the head. Here are a few theories as to what happened to Valery according to those who worked on The Sopranos:
- Davis Chase has gone on record saying "OK, this is what happened. Some Boy Scouts found the Russian, who had the telephone number to his boss, Slava, in his pocket. They called Slava, who took him to the hospital where he had brain surgery. And then Slava sent him back to the Soviet Union."
- Terry Winters has said that two years after the event, Christopher would go to Slava's workplace and he would see Valery sweeping the floors. Christopher would then panic thinking Valery would remember him, but after Valery turns around, a huge chunk of his head is missing from Paulie's shot to his skull and Valery doesn't recognize Christopher at all due to his brain damage.
- Tony Sirico has said during an interview "We had a scene this season when Chris and I are talking in the bar about whatever happened to that Russian guy. And in the script we were supposed to go outside and there he was standing on the corner. But when we went to shoot it, they took it out. I think David didn’t like it. He wanted the audience just to suffer."
- In Russian, Valery's name means "Strong", which is fitting how he was notoriously difficult to fight and seemingly impossible to kill.
- If it was true that Valery did indeed kill 16 men during the Chechen war, then Valery has killed the most people out of everyone else in the entire show.
- Valery - The Sopranos Wiki
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