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By John Helmer in Moscow Severstal, the Russian steelmaker owned by Alexei Mordashov (pictured), sought today to play down a rating downgrade by Fitch, issued earlier this week. At the same time, the company has removed the head of its loss-making North American division; and announced that in Italy, where its Lucchini steel operations are […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow While unpaid Russian workers on shore petition for Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s help,block highways, or appeal for media coverage, Russian seamen have used a very old weapon to claw back their pay from Russian shipowners — their trade union. The union campaign at sea is without precedent on land. Russia’s […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The St. Petersburg fight over port terminal andshipping assets has taken a muscular turn, as police raiders, acting at the behest of Bank St. Petersburg, appear to be grabbing assets worth more than a bank valuation allows, and despite a court order invalidating the seizure. Vitaly Arkhangelsky’s Oslo Marine Group […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The reason for an unexpected Chinese advertisement for a billion-dollar iron-ore and steel complex in a remote part of Siberia became clear in Moscow today. It reveals that, starved for cash as most Russian metal and mining companies currently are, they aren’t yet prepared to let the Chinese build competing […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Silvio Berlusconi, the Prime Minister of Italy, has named a bed in his Roman home, Palazzo Grazioli, after the Prime Minister of Russia, Vladimir Putin, according to a conversation Berlusconi had last November with a young lady he was inviting to join him in the bed. The bed itself is […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Court documents and testimony, presented recently in the Colorado District Сourt in Denver, expose substantial new evidence that LUKoil has operated a significant business in the state. The new evidence, secret until now, stretches back for ten years, and shows a flow of cash every month from an alleged front […]

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Visit The Cat’s Paw Page here.

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By John Helmer in Moscow Far Eastern Shipping Company (Fesco), the third largest of Russia’s fleet companies and the dry-cargo leader, reveals plummeting profit for last year will be followed by loss-making this year. The bad news has taken some time to be disclosed by the publicly listed shipping company, which operates a fleet of […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Loose Canadian stock listing rules, a compliant exchange regulator, and rubber-stamp directors have made it easy for a Russian raider to attack minority shareholders of High River Gold (HRG:TX), and threaten them with dilution and delisting, unless they give in to a low-ball buyout offer. That is what minority shareholders […]

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/programmes/newsnight/8146052.stm