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  On August 24, 1991, Marshal Sergei Fyodorovich Akhromeyev committed suicide. He had returned from his holiday at Sochi responding to the attempted removal of Mikhail Gorbachev from power. According to the reports of the time, he hanged himself in his Kremlin office, leaving behind a note. One version of what it said was: “I […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Sergei Lavrov, the foreign minister of Russia for the past nine years, is almost as well-known for rushing to the rescue of Russian companies in trouble in Africa, as the payback for the favour is unknown. Still, the Lavrov Doctrine is the first major change to have been introduced in the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow It is quite clear that the Russian Government objects to an international agreement to stop fishing for the Antarctic toothfish in the Ross Sea region of Antarctica. What is far from clear is why. On the surface, the Russian fleet caught just 522 tonnes of the species from the Ross Sea […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Uralkali, Russia’s potash monopoly, has been spending heavily for months – more than $1.3 billion — not so much to buy back its free-floating shares, as to let its control shareholders escape. The cash has come from new bondholders and from state banks, Sberbank and VTB. Bank of America Merrill Lynch […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The report last week of an abrupt ban on kangaroo imports to Russia, issued on July 25, concluded with the statement by Rosselkhoznadzor (RSN), the government’s veterinary and phytosanitary inspectorate, that there had been no phytosanitary problem with the meat, and that with guarantees RSN will negotiate with the Australian exporter, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If you like eating river pike, apply to President Vladimir Putin who recently landed a big one (image left). If you like ocean seabass, this story is for you, especially if what your fishmonger calls Chilean Seabass is in fact toothfish; depending on how cold the waters are in which it […]