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By John Helmer, Moscow Calliforida, the common blow-fly, has an exceptional talent – it has the ability to smell a corpse at a distance of up to 16 kilometres. Forensic investigators use the blow-fly’s eggs deposited in the flesh as a measure of how much time has elapsed since death, more reliable than the dead [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska demanded, and received from Roman Abramovich, a warranty that in his takeover of Rusal shares, he wasn’t buying stolen goods. Testimony by Deripaska’s London lawyer, Paul Hauser, followed in the UK High Court last week with details which Deripaska himself claimed in his testimony he couldn’t remember at all. [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In May, when not a single head of a government holding a seat on the board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) dared say what he thought about the criminal case against managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK), Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said: “it really is hard to believe that everything is [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Early this morning, November 25, Flinders Mines announced that Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK), owned by Victor Rashnikov, has signed a full takeover offer, proposing to buy all 1.8 billion Flinders Mines shares (including options) on issue at 30 Australian cents. This values the company at A$546.3 million (US$530 million) — a [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If you could make more money turning bananas into ballet, it’s likely that you couldn’t do it in places where the supply of bananas is plentiful and the price cheap, but the demand for ballet non-existent. But what if in places where the supply of ballet dancers is large and their [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow To gauge the future welfare of Russia and the Russians, nothing is more telling than the Cat Test. Michel de Montaigne (left) originated it in one of his 16th century essays, when he wrote: “When I play with my cat, who knows whether she is not amusing herself with me more [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The junior Australian iron-ore miner, Flinders Mines, announced a halt to trading in its shares today amid market speculation that Magnitogorsk Metallurgical Combine (MMK), the Russian steelmaker owned by Victor Rashnikov (image, right), is preparing a bid to buy part or all of the Flinders Mines shares, adding up to a [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Prime Minister Vladimir Putin recently conceded that the oligarchs who were running Russia behind the shaking hand and raddled brain of Boris Yeltsin had caused such chaos, Putin was obliged to use what he called “manual control” to recover the country. The evidence given last week in the UK High Court [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The share price of OM Holdings (OMH:U), one of the few pure manganese miners in the world to be listed on an international stock exchange, fell 9% the day after the Australian and US governments signed a new military pact, inviting 2,500 US Marines to a base in Darwin, and threatening [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Oleg Deripaska has made his debut in the witness-box of the UK High Court, testifying for almost three hours on Friday afternoon, after being called as a witness by Roman Abramovich against the claims of Boris Berezovsky. So precise and painstaking were Deripaska’s responses to some of the questions asked by [...]