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By John Helmer, Moscow It is now clear, let’s say clearer, what business has been keeping the elected Russian official in charge of foreign affairs in the upper house of parliament, and in representing Russia in the affairs of Africa so active that he has been unable to respond to questions. According to his spokesman, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In a hearing in federal US District Court in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Rusal, the Russian aluminium monopoly, was challenged by Judge Carla Woehrle to substantiate its court claims in London and elsewhere against the Nigerian government and a Nigerian-American company, BFI Group (BFIG). Through its US attorney, Jamie Bartlett, Rusal […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Russian pork farmers and producers told Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev last week that government action is stripping them of profitability, as the squeeze between the rising price of feed grain and the falling price of pork is killing the industry’s plan to expand domestic production and replace imports. In anticipation of […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Long after the great siege generals – Alexander, Napoleon – enunciated the principle of concentrating fire against the weakest points of an enemy’s walls – the Red Army devised the application combining the most explosives for the cheapest outlay in a saturation pattern which didn’t need to be accurate. It was […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In Russian, it’s called шило в жопе; literally, a bootmaker’s awl in the arse. In New York Yiddish, it’s shpilkes in tukhas, which is a bit gentler because the sharp instrument in the posterior is a needle. The meaning, in general and in the Japanese case, is a case of self-induced […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If you are a dog, then you know that 99.96% of your genes are shared with the wild grey wolf; and that both of you evolved from Papa Canid. This doesn’t mean that if you meet each other in the wilds, you’ll not turn on your fire-control mechanism, like our Chinese […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Interpol publishes the names of less than a third of the people identified by Red Notices as wanted for arrest. That’s so fugitives can’t know the risks of apprehension they run when they try crossing international borders. The Red Notice for Bekhzod Akhmedov has been published because the authorities in Tashkent, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Lars Nyberg (right), chief executive until Friday afternoon of TeliaSonera, the Swedish and Finnish telecommunications group, is something of an expert on the blowback effect. Firearms and forensics experts understand that blowback is what happens after a gunshot, when the vacuum inside the gun barrel draws in blood and tissue from […]