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By John Helmer, Moscow Rarely is it possible to find a history professor’s work on Russia to be self-evidently what it isn’t – and yet to find its premise locked by high-ranking US Government officials into a state policy of Kremlin attack and Russian regime change. J. Arch Getty III is a professor at the [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A year ago the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) reported that through the statistics collected by its 60 associated central banks, total bank lending to Russia had jumped by $25 billion in the January quarter. That was the largest quarterly increase of Russian lending and borrowing in BIS records. It was [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In 1487, when Edmund Duke of Edinburgh, aka the Black Adder, wanted to strike fear into the English royal court, and also the Spaniards, he called his valet to dress him in his Russian codpiece. Do I need to tell the young girls and boys in charge of war in Washington, [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow President Barack Obama issued an order yesterday imposing sanctions against seven Russians whom he and his government blame for the crisis in Ukraine. At the bottom of the Obama list at Number 7 is State Duma Deputy Yelena Mizulina (left), chairman of the Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs. She [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A Russian declaration of war and the despatch of troops to secure the Crimea would be very serious things, if they materialized. The Financial Times reporter, Kathrin Hille (image), is the only person in the entire world who claims to have been told by “a senior government official”: “If Ukraine breaks [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Lights! Camera! Action! Oleg Deripaska, chief executive of the Russian state aluminium monopoly Rusal (title image), calls his security men to a meeting in a soundproof room he’s decorated with a collection of west African masks on the walls. Clicketty-click the subtitle rolls on to the screen, MOSCOW 2009. “Whaddya know [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Struggling with a rising debt burden of more than $8.2 billion, the Evraz group, owned by Roman Abramovich (left), Alexander Abramov (centre) and Alexander Frolov (right), has suspended production at its Claymont steelmill in Delaware. The production halt is indefinite. A company announcement from Moscow on Monday says that “due to [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If the US Government and Congress believe they have the right to impose sanctions on Russian individuals and companies for conduct that is legal in Russian and international law, what would happen if the boot were on the other foot – if the Russian Government imposed sanctions on US individuals and [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow There are at least five million tonnes of aluminium in storage at the moment hidden from count in order to prevent the price of the metal from collapsing. Much , if not most of that aluminium comes from the Russian aluminium monopoly, United Company Rusal. Investigators for the US Commodity Futures [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow It’s been three years almost to the day since Vladimir Putin (left), then Russian Prime Minister, visited the Gremyachinskoye potash mine in southwestern Volgograd region. The mine, the newest in construction in Russia, with one of the country’s largest potash reserves, and one of the most costly ever to be built, [...]