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By John Helmer, Moscow When you have been the target of assassination by a powerful figure in Russia, as I have, and you survive the hit, as I did, you learn one thing or two things before; more in retrospect. One is that the Moscow police act quickly and competently, as they would elsewhere – [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The President of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades agreed last week with President Vladimir Putin on what is reported in London and Washington to be a military basing agreement with Russia for Russia’s naval and air forces in the Mediterranean. In the aftermath, Putin did all the talking to the press, making it [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The Kremlin doesn’t want to say so exactly. But right now it is as reluctant to support the Greek Government in its conflict with Germany, as Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Politburo wanted to back the Greek Communist Party during the Greek civil war between 1946 and 1949. So, when Foreign [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska (left), chief executive of the Russian state aluminium monopoly Rusal, makes a practice of thriving when everyone else is suffering. That’s because the Russian government and the state banks cast a more protective cover over heavy debtors when times are bad than when times are better. Rusal owes $9 [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) and the Central Criminal Court have reported that Nikolai Zlochevsky, a Ukrainian businessman and twice the minister of state for oil and gas licences, is the controlling shareholder of the Ukrainian gas producer Burisma. So what are employees of Igor Kolomoisky, warlord of Dniepropetrovsk and [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow South African government officials have attacked Russia’s bid to supply South Africa’s new nuclear reactor programme, accusing Rosatom, the state nuclear power agency, of imposing financially and legally disadvantageous terms which the South Africans, speaking anonymously, term “scary”. The attack was launched Friday in the Mail & Guardian, a local newspaper [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow It is eleven weeks since President Vladimir Putin visited Brisbane, Australia, for a summit meeting of the G20 states. Putin was escorted in the Coral Sea, east of Brisbane, by a Russian Navy flotilla making the longest deployment of the Russian surface fleet ever displayed. Including Russian submarines shadowing the flotilla, [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Greece, with Cyprus, is the only member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to have suffered, and to continue to suffer, military occupation of its territory by another NATO state, Turkey, supported by the rest of the alliance. It is the only alliance member to have suffered from British and [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Reading a new 789-page history of a Soviet spy, Alexander Orlov, who defected to the US seventy-seven years ago with the equivalent of a million dollars in Cheka cash, and conned the CIA, FBI and several American publishers into giving him a second million, can’t be all work and no fun. [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Roman Abramovich has bought two houses, and is negotiating for at least one more, on East 75th Street in New York for about $70 million. The New York papers are reporting that Abramovich is planning to live there with his family because his wife prefers it for her work. Abramovich’s spokesman [...]