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By John Helmer, Moscow After almost a year of inconclusive negotiations with a secretive South African group called Nemascore, Evraz, the Russian steelmaker and miner, has announced to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange that negotiations have opened to sell its control stake in Highveld Steel & Vanadium to new buyers. The notice to the exchange last […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Not every despotic and corrupt ruler of a former Soviet state is the target of US Government plots to overthrow him, not even those whose taste in interior decoration and jewellery is as awful as Victor Yanukovich’s, the ex-president of Ukraine. Emomali Rahmon (image), the president of Tajikistan since 1992, has […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A Russian declaration of war and the despatch of troops to secure the Crimea would be very serious things, if they materialized. The Financial Times reporter, Kathrin Hille (image), is the only person in the entire world who claims to have been told by “a senior government official”: “If Ukraine breaks […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Would you buy a used car from David Bonderman (lead image), Dmitry Shvets, and Jan Dunning if you knew they registered their businesses in the British Virgin Islands (BVI), Cayman Islands, and Bahamas; kept their takings out of their companies and in their pockets; and were more heavily indebted to the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow United Company Rusal, the Russian aluminium monopoly headed by Oleg Deripaska (image right), has won a fresh round in its battle to keep control of its Nigerian aluminium smelter, and ward off claims from a Nigerian-American group whom it defeated in the privatization of the asset almost a decade ago. For […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the former and wannabe presidents of the US, say they have accepted more than $13 million from Ukrainian pipemaker Victor Pinchuk since 2006. But Pinchuk says he’s given the Clinton Foundation only $7.6 million. It won’t help to employ accountants to ask where the missing $5.4 […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The latest independent polling of Ukrainian voters reveals that opposition strategy and political loyalties have been split by US government intervention. As a result, Ukrainian support for Vitali Klitschko, head of the UDAR opposition party, is weakening. UDAR, the acronym, stands for the Ukrainian Democratic Alliance for Reform; in Russian the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If Ziyavudin Magomedov hadn’t persuaded a Moscow business newspaper to report yesterday that he is in negotiations with Rosneft, world’s largest publicly traded oil producer, the news that Vitol, world’s largest oil trader, has abandoned a 3-year old venture to build a new Rotterdam oil terminal with Magomedov would have been […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow There is a tide in the affairs of men, which taken at the flood, leads on to pork sausage. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our profitability. If Europeans do that, it’s classical from Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar. If Russians do it, it’s trade war. Oleg Tyagnibok, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs, Victoria Nuland (right), was born in 1961. She is too young to have read Graham Greene’s book, The Quiet American, published in 1955 to explain why US attempts to liberate Vietnam by inventing a “Third Force” of locals would end in death […]