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By John Helmer, Moscow The European Union’s emergency trade assistance package for Ukraine provides duty-free entry into the European market if you are a Ukrainian exporter of asses, mules, and hinnies. If the regions of the Ukraine are to have a say in the trade terms, the enterprises of the southern and eastern regions aren’t [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Alfa Bank, owned by Mikhail Fridman, has issued an unexpected loan repayment demand from Mechel, controlled by Igor Zyuzin (left), for $150 million. That’s chicken-feed in Mechel’s debt pile of almost $10 billion. But with dozens of trade creditors in the arbitrazh courts demanding their invoices be paid; a collapsing share [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A new type of warfare is being tested in Ukraine. The strategem was first publicly disclosed on February 23, when Zbigniew Brzezinski — the wannabe Secretary of State if the Democratic Party wins the 2016 presidential election — proposed a billion-dollar levy on each of ten Ukrainian oligarchs. Brzezinski didn’t identify [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow United Company Rusal, the Russian aluminium monopoly headed by Oleg Deripaska (image right), has won a fresh round in its battle to keep control of its Nigerian aluminium smelter, and ward off claims from a Nigerian-American group whom it defeated in the privatization of the asset almost a decade ago. For [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton, the former and wannabe presidents of the US, say they have accepted more than $13 million from Ukrainian pipemaker Victor Pinchuk since 2006. But Pinchuk says he’s given the Clinton Foundation only $7.6 million. It won’t help to employ accountants to ask where the missing $5.4 [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A reporter for the New York Times has scooped the global press in Sochi. Named David Herszenhorn, the newspaper’s specialist on the New York City borough of Queens, the reporter has uncovered a plot to kill a group of stray dogs – by poison darts causing suffocation — in front of [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A UK High Court ruling on Friday has struck a surprise blow against Ukrainian pipemaker Victor Pinchuk (image), as he fights to stave off bankruptcy claims from international Eurobond holders, international and Russian banks, and Ukrainian suppliers. The timing could not be worse for the Ukrainian, who has been paying Bill [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When the last war with Germany was ending, the British intelligence services rounded up as many of their German counterparts as they could find, and interrogated them. They were taken by surprise, as a series of reports by Hugh Trevor-Roper, then a signals intelligence analyst, uncovered as early as 1944.* For [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska has never agreed to settle before judgement in international litigations against him, or against his management of United Company Rusal, unless Deripaska was certain his opponents held a winning hand. When Rusal announced last week that it has settled a London arbitration with Rusal shareholders, Victor Vekselberg and Len [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Interpipe, the heavily indebted Ukrainian pipemaker owned by Victor Pinchuk (left foreground), has defaulted on its pledge to list its Eurobonds on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange by December 27, a notice from Deutsche Bank, the bond trustee, has revealed. This is Pinchuk’s second default in two months. On November 1, Interpipe [...]