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Young man hanging on to edge of cliff, close-up (focus on fingers)

By John Helmer, Moscow

Oleg Deripaska, control shareholder of Rusal, the Russian state aluminium monopoly, is the leading investor of Russian funds in offshore businesses which have failed. He is also Russia’s largest corporate debtor.  Noone else in the circle of President Vladimir Putin has performed so improvidently and unpatriotically.

When the costs are counted of last month’s Nigerian High Court ruling against Rusal’s ownership of the Aluminium Smelter Company of Nigeria (Alscon), and the ruling expected from the same court in Abuja next week, Rusal is facing a liability and compensation judgement amounting to $2.8 billion. That’s one-third of Rusal’s annual sales revenues; it’s also one-third of Rusal’s gross debt, and almost half its current market capitalization on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.   Not a single metals analyst or investment banker in Moscow dares to acknowledge the case, or analyse the risk now facing Rusal from the Nigerian courts and its government.  (more…)

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1884

By John Helmer, Moscow

If you can read this, you missed an attack on this website. It started, coincidentally, when the Moscow office day commenced. The general commanding our rocket forces forbids us to reveal  the method of attack and  how it was intercepted and zapped, restoring our coverage of stories like this one on Alexei Mordashov’s takeover of the goldminer Northquest. Click

Not that he and Nordgold would have anything to do with this morning’s attack on our website. But if  he and the Nordgold raiders try to attack Toronto-listed Columbus Gold, their next target according to a leading Canadian gold market source, we are ready.  “The Canadian rules need to change,” the source recommends, “so that the resisting minority shareholders get to put forward their own third-party valuation as a comparison to the one done by the newly formed Board of the acquirer.  This would at least give a high and low valuation which could be subject to mediation.”

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1877%d0%b2

By John Helmer, Moscow

The price of Russian art this week at the bellwether London auction house sales has risen by more than a third over a year ago, signalling that more money is available to spend, with more confidence that Russian paintings will more than hold their value for investors in the year ahead.  While Americans and Europeans were the big-ticket sellers, sources in the bidding rooms say the biggest spenders were Russians. (more…)

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1880

By John Helmer, Moscow 

For empires to rule, their agents must hang on to their monopoly of force, fraud and subversion, inside the home country as well as in its far flung dominions. Subversion means persuading people to believe what is true and good, when that’s false and bad for them. Propaganda, in short.

It was a close run thing in Russia during the time of Boris Yeltsin and the Clinton family.    But nowadays on the Ukraine front and the Syria front,   Russian force is prevailing. On all the other US war fronts Washington’s agents are losing; that includes small islands like Cyprus and big ones like the Philippines.

The British voted for Brexit; the French for François Fillon and Marine LePen; and the Americans for Donald Trump because the fraud enriching their ruling elites became too pervasive, too obvious for the subversion of public opinion to explain it away or cover it up.

The US and European sanctions against Russia have been a colossal miscalculation because they give Russians a rationale for the misery that has come, not only with rouble devaluation and the loss of oil and gas export income,  but also from the inequality inflicted by the oligarch system which replaced the communist one.  In cutting the Russian oligarchs and state banks off from the international capital they regularly stole and converted into offshore assets, the sanctions have forced self-sufficiency on a reluctant Kremlin, and neutralized, for the time being, the most powerful Russian lobby in favour of Americanization and — what amounted to the same thing, globalization. What’s left of the fraud and conversion lobby in Moscow  – Anatoly Chubais, Alexei Kudrin, Alexei Ulyukaev – is now under one form of house arrest or another.

Whereas the first assault on Russia by western journalists,  a quarter of a century ago,  was the sign of the collapse of Russian resistance, this time it’s the reverse – the signs of US and Anglo-European collapse,  and Russian revival.  We’re going to have to live a long time to figure out which side turns out to be civilized, which barbarian.  Uncertainty like this used to be called the Dark Ages. (more…)

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1881

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the criminal fraternity it’s believed that light fingers are a juvenile condition it’s best for the practicioner to grow out of when more serious property transfers are in contemplation.

Alexei Mordashov (lead image, right), the Russian steelmaker and goldminer, is a quick learner and a grown-up. With a net worth currently estimated at over $15 billion from Severstal, Nordgold, and other Russian businesses, his record of asset buying has more often been one of paying too much, and losing money, especially in the US. Last month, however, in litigation in Ontario, Canada, he was charged by shareholders of the gold prospector Northquest Limited,   with manipulation of the company’s executives and board in order to take over the company’s gold for a steal.

The resisting shareholders who took their case to the Ontario Superior Court, are veteran geologists with three decades of experience of gold deposits in the Nunavut territory of  northeastern Canada,  which are Mordashov’s target.  The resisters claim Mordashov’s goldmine holding Nordgold  has taken over Northquest at a fraction of its real value.  “In our view,” Brian Randa, one of the dissenting shareholders, told the court in October, according to the court records, “the valuation  [of Northquest’s gold prospects] is not worth the paper it is written on. They [Nordgold]  mispresented the true potential of this project by comparing the project to those with much less potential [in gold resources],  and by  excluding from consideration a vast tract of the licence area.  They tricked the shareholders into tendering [their shares at a low price].  The timing of this series of events was deliberately made to happen before the astonishing major Howitzer anomaly was further explored in the summer of 2016.”

Low-balling is a takeover tactic Nordgold has been accused of by Canadian goldmine shareholders at High River Gold and Crew Gold for many years.  Mordashov won those battles; for details, read this and this. In those cases, resisting shareholders claimed the light fingers went into Mordashov’s pockets. The Canadian courts and the Ontario regulator didn’t agree. (more…)

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By John Helmer, Moscow

Naturally, war is about winning and losing. So there are songs to pick up your courage in advance, and songs of grief for what comes after.  There are also songs to help you forget what is happening.

Since the destruction of Russia which Boris Yeltsin and the Clinton family began, together, in 1991, Yevgenia Smolyaninova has been the songstress of sorrow, and nostalgia. In remembering what has been lost, though, Smolyaninova sings to recover and renew the musical culture. Yeltsin was tone-deaf and  dysrhythmic; his response to music was to stomp his foot in and out of time.   Smolyaninova began her career of singing what she calls the national song in the Yeltsin decade. She continues today. The question is — who now is listening?

For Smolyaninova, “certainly the audience relationship to the national song has changed.  For the worse. But sometimes I think that interest in this genre still exists, except that it lies slightly more deeply than thirty years ago. In the 1980s there was a big number of folklore ensembles, and on television a lot of broadcasts devoted to the national song. I very well remember how the Leningrad streets were filled by the participants of a folklore festival who had come from all over Russia. It was a procession that was as surprising as it was romantic.  That can’t happen now. But today there’s another possibility. Those people who were young then have now matured. Maybe, in these most recent years their understanding of the song has deepened. Perhaps their relationship with the song has changed. The song is a part of the nation, with her images and traditions. Remembering the nation’s roots is very important!” (more…)

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1879%d0%b0

By John Helmer, Moscow

In the dark of Monday night before light broke on Tuesday, Cyprus, the small Mediterranean island invaded and occupied for 42 years  by Turkish troops with US and UK backing,  began a revolution its president, Nicos Anastasiades (lead image, 4),  doesn’t want.

The collapse of negotiations between the Greek Cypriot and Turkish Cypriot communities, arranged by United Nations (UN) officials at the Swiss resort of Mont Pèlerin, was confirmed by a UN communique issued at 1:30 in the morning. “They have not been able to achieve the necessary further convergences on criteria for territorial adjustment that would have paved the way for the last phase of the talks,” the bulletin announced.  “The two sides have decided to return to Cyprus and reflect on the way forward.”

“The Americans, the Turks, the European Union, and the British were sure there’s no deal  Anastasiades could not be persuaded to accept,” said a senior Cyprus official,  now retired,  “so long as there’s  a large enough percentage in it for himself. Anastasiades’s weakness is his personal corruption. This time, though, the Turks raised their bid too high. The Americans lost their cards in their election on November 8. The British aren’t players in Europe now. And for the first time there was a display of Greek and Russian power which has changed the game entirely. Greece first, then Russia have cut the legs off the negotiating table – Anastasiades’s legs too.” (more…)

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1878

By John Helmer, Moscow

The Hillary Clinton effect – war with Russia on all fronts – destroyed billions of dollars in the equity value and market capitalization of Russian corporations. The collapse in the international price of crude oil, to which the Russian stock market index is usually tied, accelerated the decline.

But starting a year ago, a novel Russian effect appeared in the market. The trend lines – yellow for the Moscow MICEX index, blue for oil — began to diverge. Russian stock prices started climbing, crossing the downward movement of the oil price (lead image, top right, 1-year chart) and continuing upwards even when oil’s gains were reversed.

That is what professional investors and brokers call the Russia re-rating effect. And it commenced long before Donald Trump was elected US President on November 8 (lead image, lower right, 1-month chart).  Trump’s victory  turns out to have been a one-day wonder, a blip on the chart of the Russian stock market revival. So, if Trump is ready to put a stop to the US war on Russia  – or even if he isn’t —  is there a Russian boom coming?  Yevgeny Gavrilin (lead image) says there is; on the internet he’s calling it Boomstarter.ru. (more…)

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By John Helmer, Moscow

The geography of US election votes this week has never been seen before.  Also, it has produced the biggest defeat ever inflicted on modern literacy – this is the capacity of Americans to understand the truth value of what they read and are told by television, radio, the social media, and the internet.  (more…)

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1874

New broadcast by Chris Cook with John Helmer, Victoria, B.C., Canada

Click to listen  

Gorilla Radio is broadcast weekly by Chris Cook on CFUV 101.9 FM from the University of Victoria, British Columbia. The radio station can be heard here.  The Gorilla Radio transcripts are also published by the Pacific Free Press. For Chris Cook’s broadcast archive, click to open.

For Clinton’s speech conceding her election defeat by men and little boys, but promising victory to women and little girls%d1%81%d0%bd%d0%b8%d0%bc%d0%be%d0%ba3, watch this.

If you are a little girl , and you aim to grow up and grab the ring too, try Chelsea Clinton’s (right).  There are unconfirmed reports that this ring was specially commissioned  and cost about $1 million. There is no telling where the stone and the money came from.

Let’s see if Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey has suspicions which President-elect Donald Trump has already decided  not to put in front of a grand jury. If this sounds like the terms of the succession deal of December 31, 1999, between President Boris Yelstin and his successor,  Vladimir Putin – the Family keeps its fortune, the new man takes power —  it is.