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By John Helmer, Moscow Russia’s criminal prosecution authorities have expressed their appreciation for the indictments published in Washington on Monday of the alleged US criminals Paul Manafort and Richard Gates, and the admitted criminal, George Papadopoulos. The Russians have also requested cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and special prosecutor Robert Mueller III […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Medovukha, Russia’s fermented honey drink known in English as mead, is at least one thousand years old. If it’s what the Greeks meant by ambrosia, the nectar of the gods, then it is as ancient as wine, Dionysos’s tipple. Whether Rurik the Viking* brought mead with him to ancient Rus, or […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The threat of costly environmental damage to Lake Baikal by power plants of the EN+ group, owned by Oleg Deripaska (lead images),  has been raised this week  by Russian and Chinese activists with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). The UK regulator is considering whether to allow an initial public offering (IPO) […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Niccolo Machiavelli once called moral philosophy the child of civil war. That also makes moral philosophy after the fact, after the crimes. War winners write histories; losers and martyrs write philosophies.   Tsar Nicholas II (lead images) was killed, along with his family, because the Romanovs were a dynasty threatening the revolutions […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska, Russia’s aluminium oligarch, has lost his campaign to stop negative press reporting of his business conduct. In a judgement issued on October 17, a federal Washington, D.C., judge dismissed in a summary judgement, without trial, Deripaska’s claim to have been defamed by the Associated Press.

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By John Helmer, Moscow Desperate measures by South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma this week sharpened the focus on what the Russian state company Rosgeologia (Rosgeo) and state banks, VTB and Gazprombank, are doing to arrange a $400 million contract for a new gasfield off the South African coast – and pipe promises of billion-dollar royalty […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Roman Abramovich (lead image) is the leading shareholder of the Russian steel, iron-ore and coal mining group called Evraz. Among Russia’s leading steel groups, it ranks second in output of crude steel; fourth in market value. It is the leader in indebtedness. By international measures, Evraz also leads its Russian peers […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Joseph Alsop (lead image, centre) and George Kennan (right) started the kind of Russia-hating in Washington which,  today, President Vladimir Putin, like the businessmen around him,  think of as a novelty that cannot last for long. Alsop was a fake news fabricator, and such a narcissist as to give the bow-ties […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When you are a Russian oligarch with a 20-year record of settling out of court with friends, partners and investors accusing you of deceit; when you have a 7-year record of failing to sustain your share value in a genuine stock market, what do you do next? You announce to a […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The first Dance with Bears appeared fifteen years ago.  It began as a short commentary appearing once or twice a week. The title came from Astolphe de Custine, the greatest observer of Russia ever to be obliged to conceal what he was writing inside his hat, as the Russians he was […]