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By John Helmer, Moscow President Vladimir Putin’s summons to the oligarchs for dinner on December 18 turned out to be a teddy bears’ picnic. And why not – they got all they came for, and more. The country outside got decidedly less, but for the time being how little is a state secret.

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By Ajay Goyal The Russian rouble has plunged over 52 per cent this year yet the Russian economic crisis might represent a unique opportunity for Cyprus to secure a major trade relationship with Russia without stepping outside the sanctions regime. The Russian government and central bank might impose capital controls to stem the flight of […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow MiningMaven of London is a leading source of analysis for the global mining, minerals and metals sector. For this week’s interview on what will happen next in the war against Russia, pocket your telephone, and toss your paper. Tune in here.

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By John Helmer, Moscow A federal US court in Colorado has begun proceedings on charges that Natalie Jaresko (lead image, right), the US national who was appointed Finance Minister of Ukraine this month, lied to the US State Department and violated US passport laws, after she misled a Ukrainian court in September into issuing a […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Soviet-era officials had a peculiar standard of professional morality and ministerial responsibility, as this is known in the political democracies. Make a colossal mistake, the red directors used to say — take the blame on yourself. Marshal Sergei Akhromeyev was the last Russian official of rank to do so. The anniversary […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Once upon a time when the US Government used to plot the overthrow of allied European governments, Ronald Reagan was President, and George Shultz his Secretary of State. On March 25, 1986, Shultz arrived in Athens, intent on delivering an ultimatum for the Greek Prime Minister, Andreas Papandreou; Shultz thought he […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Multi-billion dollar lending to Ukraine by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank has stopped amid growing doubts among country board directors at the two international organizations that the Ukrainian Government can meet repayment commitments and loan covenants for 2015, or deliver on reform promises and budget financing targets tabled […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The report of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence on CIA torture is long on details, very short on Russia. For the full report, click. There are just five references to Russia; all are footnotes to intelligence reports produced by several US government agencies for review by them all. Three […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In the recent history of Russian classical music, Mstislav Rostropovich grew so rich with the cello – Vladimir Spivakov with fiddle, Valery Gergiev with baton, too — how to explain that the broadcasting of classical music on the radio has grown so poor? The technologies of digital reproduction of music are […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Tiger is an unlucky brand-name for Russian investment. The record of Mikhail Prokhorov and Maxim Finsky in trying, and failing three times over to sell shares in White Tiger Gold on the Toronto Stock Exchange explains. So why is the Russian Direct Investment Fund, a state development bank, betting on a […]