Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

“Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail…This weekend, Ukrainians voted by the millions. Yesterday, I spoke to their next president. We don’t know how the situation will play out, and there will remain grave challenges ahead, but standing with our allies on behalf of international order, […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow There has long been a fear on the Russian side that South Africa will sell as much platinum and palladium as it can mine, threatening the market price of both metals, and leaving Russia holding very large, very secret stocks of dwindling value. From the Russian point of view, that’s not […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Radoslaw Sikorski (Radek for short) commenced his campaign to be elected High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union in 2009. For openers, he engaged an American graduate student to pronounce him “a strong contender for the position”, “steely-eyed”, and “a dark horse candidate”. Five years is […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Russian Customs reports this week that imports of steel pipes from Ukraine have dropped by 50% or more, compared to 2013. Steel industry sources in Moscow are predicting the Russian market may have closed to Ukrainian steelmakers, as Gazprom and Rosneft, the largest buyers of pipes, are directed by the Kremlin […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Two Russian steelmaking oligarchs, Alexei Mordashov (above, left) of Severstal, and Igor Zyuzin (right) of Mechel, went to court early this month over a debt of $4 million. The debt stems from a contract for delivery of Mechel-made metallurgical coke to Severstal’s steelmill in Dearborn, Michigan. The court is the US […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow Hercules can thank the lucky stars on Mount Olympus that his name isn’t used these days for the clinical condition of megalomania turning homicidal, accompanied by manic-depressive swings, transvestism, sadism, etc. A number of generals in the last world war – George Patton, Curtis LeMay – thought they were herculean in […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow If the programme of US sanctions cuts Russian military industries off from imports from the Ukraine, the new costs imposed on the Russian side may turn out to be less than the price of the sacrifice on the Ukrainian side. According to Russian military sources, that’s because, starting last year the […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow The USS Vella Gulf is the latest US Navy warship to be deployed in what Washington is calling its “mission to reassure NATO allies and Black Sea partners of America’s commitment to strengthen and improve interoperability while working towards mutual goals in the region… It demonstrates our commitment to our … […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow The oligarchs of Ukraine, who control the eastern regions’ principal assets, employment, tax base, and income, are at risk of being politically and financially squeezed to death. Unless they can quickly become Maoists — at least according to Mao Zedong’s Red Book saying: 枪杆子里面出政权 (“Every Communist must grasp the truth: Political […]

Email This Post - Print This Post Print This Post

By John Helmer, Moscow The latest but one in the US Navy deployments to the Black Sea ended on Monday when the frigate, USS Taylor, sailed south through the Bosphorus Straits. Three days before on May 9 the cruiser, USS Vella Gulf, had been reported as due to steam north through the straits and into […]