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By John Helmer, Moscow Andrej Babis is the one of the wealthiest men in eastern Europe — if you bite bread, read a newspaper, fill your car with fuel, or put fertilizer on your window box in Prague, chances are you owe Babis money. He is also Deputy Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Finance [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow President Vladimir Putin has lost the war. Not the one with Washington for the future of Europe, eastern Ukraine, and the Kremlin itself. That war isn’t going so badly for Putin. The one he is losing is with the Russian oligarchs on whether they will repatriate their assets from their offshore [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Insiders at the Russian aluminium monopoly Rusal say that chief executive and control shareholder Oleg Deripaska has been miscalculating the effect of share price surges Rusal has enjoyed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange in recent weeks. That’s because the share price gains have been quickly reversed – and because Rusal’s [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When Ukrainian warlords need a well-earned rest from fighting the civil war, there’s always Cleveland, under State Department protection, or Miami for the warm weather. Igor Kolomoisky has accumulated more than a quarter of a billion dollars in US investments through a chain of front companies which stretch from several American [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The Canadian Government announced last week it is giving away another C$200 million to Ukraine, topping the $200 million handed to Kiev last September. A spokesman for Foreign Minister Rob Nicholson concedes the money is not being audited as the announced loan agreements require. Nicholson, according to Johanna Quinney in Ottawa, [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The Cyprus Government’s unit for combating money-laundering will consider an investigation of Igor Kolomoisky if it is requested by the Ukrainian or US Governments, Eva Papakyriacou revealed on Tuesday. Papakyriacou is the head of the unit, whose acronym, following the Greek, is MOKAS. She declined to say if there has been [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow On July 17, 2014, at 1320 local time, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 crashed in eastern Ukraine. The investigating authority, the Dutch Safety Board (DSB), reported within five days that the two black boxes, the cockpit voice recorder (CVR – lead image, left) and the flight data recorder (FDR), had been recovered. [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Forgery in the Russian art market is diminishing. “The situation is becoming much better. There are now very few fakes,” reports James Butterwick, a London-based dealer and specialist in Russian art. “This has nothing to do with the experts. The market is the expert now, and it’s become very difficult to [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska, control shareholder and chief executive of the Russian state aluminium monopoly Rusal, hasn’t exactly made a positive rate of return for Asian investors. In fact, share-buyers at the Hong Kong Stock Exchange are likely to conclude that he’s made a hash of every venture he’s tried to bring to [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow War, devaluation, and recession aren’t usually something to drink champagne to. So it was inevitable that Abrau-Durso, Russia’s only champagne house listed on the stock exchange, would suffer. When President Vladimir Putin told the leadership of the Federal Security Service (FSB) on Thursday that “the situation cannot remain like this forever. [...]