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By John Helmer, Moscow In Gogol’s well-known story Dead Souls, Chichikov (left), the central character and villain of the piece, makes a lucrative business of buying the names of dead serfs from local census rolls in order to cut the tax liabilities of landowners, accumulate fake collateral against which he intends to borrow, and then […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow To the disability of being unable to speak his mind in public Suleiman Kerimov has the added handicap of being unable to accept how short his arms are, particularly when handling money from state banks. In overreaching himself Kerimov has provided a case study of how President Vladimir Putin expects the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Nothing so reveals the character of the men on the commanding heights of the Russian economy than a lawsuit in an international court initiated by their wives against one of their tradesmen. In the case which recently came to light, Aleksandra Melnichenko (nee Nikolic), wife of the fertilizer oligarch Andrei Melnichenko, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow As larger cargo volumes and more international vessels move through Arctic waters, or the Northern Sea Route as the passage is generally called in Russian (SMP is the cyrillic acronym, NSR in English), the Kremlin’s strategy is to fund the construction of the most powerful nuclear icebreakers in the world, and […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Evraz, the steelmaking group owned by Roman Abramovich and Alexander Abramov, has revealed that it cannot complete the sale of its South African steel subsidiary, Highveld Steel & Vanadium, on time, and that the South Africans are the reason for the fresh delay. At the same time, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Sovcomflot, the state-owned Russian tanker company, has reported that its vessel operating profit collapsed from $101.7 million to just $31.7 million in the six months to June 30, while on the bottom-line the company reported a net loss of $14.5 million; this compares with a profit of just $2 million in […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow After months of delay, Victor Pinchuk’s Interpipe group revealed in its financial report for last year — issued at the start of August but given a release date of May 23 – how much financial trouble the Ukrainian pipe and steelmaker is now facing. The impact of this on the international […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow On December 7, 2012, Andrei Melnichenko (image right, right) told prospective buyers of $750 million in loan participation notes that he was gung-ho on the future of the potash business of his Eurochem group. For Eurochem — 92% owned by board chairman Melnichenko; 8% by chief executive Dmitry Strezhnev – potash […]

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