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By John Helmer, Moscow A decade ago, before the Annie-get-your-gun ladies got control of US policy in Ukraine, their Hopalong Cassidy predecessors were in charge. Back then, the menfolk tried an identical combination of bribery and democracy-funding, the point of which was to make sure Serbians lost their right to go to their own beach […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Ukrainian voters are now united in only one thing – their fear. Countrywide, two out of three say they are afraid of military conflict with outside forces. One in two say they are more afraid of internal conflict and civil war. Almost that many say their biggest anxieties are non-payment of […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow President Barack Obama has done something no president of the US has done in public, outside of wartime, for more than a century. He has attempted to issue a personal insult to another country and its president by belittling both. At the Rijksmuseum, in Amsterdam on Monday, in front of Rembrandt’s […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A year ago the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) reported that through the statistics collected by its 60 associated central banks, total bank lending to Russia had jumped by $25 billion in the January quarter. That was the largest quarterly increase of Russian lending and borrowing in BIS records. It was […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In 1487, when Edmund Duke of Edinburgh, aka the Black Adder, wanted to strike fear into the English royal court, and also the Spaniards, he called his valet to dress him in his Russian codpiece. Do I need to tell the young girls and boys in charge of war in Washington, […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The assets of Petro Poroshenko, frontrunner in the Ukrainian presidential election called for May 25, are facing growing pressure in Crimea and mainland Russia. If US and French Government proposals now in discussion in Brussels expand anti-Russian sanctions to strike at the offshore assets of Russian oligarchs, Poroshenko is likely to […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow President Barack Obama issued an order yesterday imposing sanctions against seven Russians whom he and his government blame for the crisis in Ukraine. At the bottom of the Obama list at Number 7 is State Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina (left), chairman of the Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs. She […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Alfa Bank, owned by Mikhail Fridman, has issued an unexpected loan repayment demand from Mechel, controlled by Igor Zyuzin (left), for $150 million. That’s chicken-feed in Mechel’s debt pile of almost $10 billion. But with dozens of trade creditors in the arbitrazh courts demanding their invoices be paid; a collapsing share […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In most legal codes there is no concept of a legal vacuum, since lawyers, judges and experts on jurisprudence everywhere believe that for every act some law or other must apply. In English and American law, for example, it is inconceivable – to lawyers, judges, politicians and policemen – that the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Majorities of voters in the southern and eastern regions of Ukraine believe there is no candidate running for the presidential election planned for May 25, whom they trust with a vote to represent their interests. With two months still to go, the outcome of the poll is therefore already decided – […]