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By John Helmer, Moscow The disclosure that Severstal is planning to sell its remaining two US steelmills has taken the Russian steel industry by surprise, triggering speculation the Kremlin has asked for the move as part of the ongoing conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. For the time being, Severstal’s owner and chief […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If the presidential election goes ahead on May 25, half the voters of eastern Ukraine will not vote. Of the half who do, half will vote for the frontrunner and US-backed candidate, Petro Poroshenko. The other half will divide between three or four candidates, including the Communist Party’s Petro Simonenko, the […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When Alexander Shokhin was a junior official in the international economic department of the Soviet Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the 1980s, it was plain he was short-sighted. That was because of the glasses he wore – the old Soviet type, super-thick. He’s come a long way since then, and so […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In the wake of the lethal Odessa fire on May 2, President Vladimir Putin and Chancellor Angela Merkel agreed by telephone on Sunday afternoon “to take effective measures, including through the OSCE in the first place, aimed at easing tensions in Ukraine. In this connection, Swiss Federal President and OSCE Chairperson-in-Office […]