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By John Helmer, Moscow General Vo Nguyen Giap has died in Hanoi, aged 102. There has been no general of his quality and achievement in modern times. He defeated the French and the Americans, and in two separate wars drove them as decisively out of Vietnam as Kutuzov drove Napoleon out of Russia. Giap, his [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow At the freedom-flush Moscow parties of the 1990s, I was never sure whether Alexander Venediktov (2) was real, or a Vladimir Mamyshev-Monroe (1) impersonation. Mamyshev-Monroe died last month in what is described as a shallow swimming pool in Indonesia. Venediktov is alive, and like Mamyshev-Monroe does his radio turns on Ekho-Moskvy [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Quadraturin was the stuff which, when squeezed out of a tube and painted on the walls of an 8 square-metre Moscow room, turned it into a much larger one. Biggerized it — is the translator’s term from the Russian. Russian politicians have been using it for years, long before the arrival [...]