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By John Helmer in Moscow Yury Humber and the Bloomberg bureau in Moscow run by Bradley Cook have a special relationship with United Company Rusal.

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By John Helmer in Moscow The first time Vladimir Putin made the outhouse a lever of state policy was in 1999. Referring to Chechen secessionists and terrorists, he said: “If we can find them in the outhouse, we will whack them in the outhouse.” On Friday, in Chelyabinsk, he did it again. Only this time […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Noone who knows and loves Victor Vekselberg doubts his philanthropy towards the country of his birth. He has helped finance the return of the original Danilovsky Monastery bells, sold to the US in 1930, and then donated to Harvard University. He allows his collection of Faberge eggs to tour Russian […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow Mechel, the coking coal and specialty steel group controlled by Igor Zyuzin, has released its production report for the second quarter ended June 30. By the simple device of comparing the latest output figures for the six months ending June 30, 2010, with those of the first half of 2009, […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow It is now official – this month of July is the hottest in Moscow since the Russian Meteorological Service began keeping regular daily records and issuing temperature measurement bulletins. That was back in 1872. Since then the heat-wave years have occurred in 1885, 1920, 1938, 1939, 2001, and 2002.

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By John Helmer in Moscow Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK) has just announced that it has abandoned both the Ohio and Oregon steelmill projects in the US, which the company, owned by Victor Rashnikov, has been considering for several years.

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By John Helmer in Moscow Gennady Onishchenko, the Russian government’s chief health inspector, has issued a new diktat, claiming that bottles of imported wine have been found to contain dibutyl phthalate. There’s a catch, though. Onishchenko’s spokesman refuses to say if he has also banned pencil erasers, plastic toys, and nail polish, all of which […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow The truth hurts, speaking musculoskeletically. Vladimir Potanin (right) usually gives his nerves away when he’s under pressure by the rapid tapping of his foot under the table. Oleg Deripaska (left) shows his nerves, when gulping noises are audible in his throat and he forces a smile.

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By John Helmer in Moscow It has become the biggest tussle over a shipyard contract ever fought out in public in Russia. Roman Trotsenko, chief executive of the state-owned United Shipbuilding Corporation (USC), told Fairplay today that negotiations are under way for USC to buy the designs, shipboard technology, and production licences for the building […]

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By John Helmer in Moscow There are some memorable accounts of returns and arrivals in Russia. Vladimir Nabokov in Speak, Memory (1951), for example, remembers his return from university in England, when, as he wrote, the sound of the snow and ice crystals crackled under his feet as he stepped off the train at St. […]