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By John Helmer in Moscow The Russian grain trade is complaining that there has been another outbreak of the weevil wars delaying large consignments of Russian export wheat from being landed and sold at ports in Syria and Egypt, ostensibly for reason of infestation. This time, two vessels and 110,000 tonnes of grain, originally loaded […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Yury Privalov, the former head of Sovcomflot’s London-based shipping operations, wound up his testimony in the High Court this week with half a dozen new allegations undocumented before in court, or since his release on parole from a Moscow prison on October 10, 2008. Testifying over eight days by videolink […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The Russian government has decided to underwrite the refinancing of pipemaker TMK’s loan portfolio with state repayment guarantees. TMK is controlled by Dmitry Pumpyansky (see right figure). A curt statement, issued Tuesday by Deputy Minister of Industry and Energy, Andrei Dementyev, said “the necessary papers are being processed by the […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow A flurry of sales and revenue claims posted on the Alrosa website have yet to be substantiated by the chief executive, Fyodor Andreyev, or his spokesman, Andrei Polyakov. Their silence four months into Andreyev’s term in office recalls the claims, issued in June and July by the former chief executive, […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow In the business of boxing, a pugilist’s hands are not only his stock in trade, but weapons as potentially lethal for him to wield as a pistol is for a stickup man. If a boxer uses his fists outside the ring, he may have difficulty proving self-defence, while his adversary […]

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The Bank of Moscow disclosed today, without comment, that in obtaining court orders in Moscow and Novosibirsk to seize Vadim Varshavsky’s salary and Moscow apartments, it has also obtained legal sanction for “the restriction of V.E.Varshavsky’s departure from the Russian Federation.”

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By John Helmer in Moscow Vadim Varshavsky, the owner of the bankrupt Estar group of midsize, specialty steel mills, has been hit with court bankruptcy orders in Moscow and Novosibirsk to sequestrate half of his salary as a member of parliament, and at least two apartment residences he maintains in Moscow. The orders by the […]

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We interrupt this news bulletin to bring you a broadcast from Captain Obvious on location live above the Kremlin

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By John Helmer in Moscow Ronald Knox’s “ten commandments” that summarize all stories in the detective genre were published in 1929. Here they are: 1. The criminal must be mentioned in the early part of the story, but must not be anyone whose thoughts the reader has been allowed to know. 2. All supernatural or […]

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