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By John Helmer, Moscow Nemascore, the South African buyer of Evraz Highveld, the loss-making steel and vanadium producer, is run by a part-time lawyer, a part-time entrepreneur, and the part-time executive of Fire Check, a Durban-based company specializing for the past twenty years in installing home and office fire alarms around that east coast city. […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Nigerian judge, Okechukwu Okeke, failed to show up in his Lagos court yesterday for the scheduled trial on arms smuggling charges of the crew of the Myre Seadiver. There was no explanation for his non-appearance.

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By John Helmer, Moscow Igor Zyuzin’s desperately indebted steel and coal-mining group Mechel is negotiating the sale of a 25% shareholding stake in Mechel Mining, his coal division, for $1.25 billion. That’s a fraction – maybe half — of what it was worth two years ago. Would such a loss of capital value, and the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Pavel (Pavlik) Morozov, aged 14, was murdered on September 3, 1932, along with his 9-year old brother, Fyodor. They were stabbed to death. Four people were convicted of the crimes – their grandfather Sergei and cousin Danila did the stabbing; uncle Arseny plotted the crime beforehand; grandmother Kseniya covered it up […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Though their meaning and intent are identical, crocodiles are better known for their tears than for their smiles. So are Russian officials. Take Igor Shuvalov, the first deputy prime minister, for example. When the chief executive of one of the largest mining companies in the world came to Moscow, a member […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Alrosa is reopening its African business but there is no song and dance yet. The chief executive, Fyodor Andreyev, is in Angola this week, the company has confirmed, and is discussing with state diamond company Endiama the formation of joint ventures to explore for diamonds on the Angolan-Congolese border. Similar exploration […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If 85% of something was worth $320 million on March 27, then full value would be about $377 million. And if that something is identified as Highveld Steel & Vanadium Ltd. — a major South African producer of flat steel products and vanadium with which to harden steel — then how […]