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By John Helmer, Moscow There once was a young man called Marko Papic (centre), living in Austin, Texas. Each morning he went to work at a desk paid for by an older man named George Friedman (right), the owner of a company called Stratfor. That was a money-for-secrets scheme hatched by Friedman and his friends [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow When the archaeologists of the next millennium excavate, they will find the evidence of a tectonic shift and turning-point in Russian history that took place in the two months between December 28 and February 25. That’s from the day Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed government order number VP-P13-9308, and instructed Deputy [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Eating sheep’s balls is an acquired taste, though if you’re from the Caucasus or Azerbaijan, the taste comes with your mother’s milk, so to speak. If you are an Australian politician, complaining in public that someone else is biting yours is an everyday thing. Australia has always been sensitive below its [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow I know, I know. It’s old fashioned to regard the celebration of February 23 as Red Army Day. And for all the awards heaped on my head for defending the Fatherland from its enemies, foreign and domestic, on this anniversary I plead paucity of means, and defer to those who have [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow It has been obvious for some time that Vladimir Kekhman’s banana financials were so rotten, his Joint Fruit Company (JFC) was republishing its second-quarter financial results as if they were the third quarter figures, postponing the fourth quarter and full-year releases, and refusing response to the question Why? It has also [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow In the memoirs of the great courtesans, much fondness is expressed toward the size of their patrons’ pockets, but never the size (or lack of it) of their male members. Morgan Stanley lacks that kind of discretion. If you read the report issued on February 17 by the investment bank’s Moscow [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Russia’s government-owned fleet operator Sovcomflot, run by Sergei Frank, has announced that international commodity trader Glencore will take over, market and operate five of its newest oil tankers as they come out of the shipyard and put to sea. The history of Glencore in Russia since 1991 is a simple one [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow LUKoil, the second largest of Russia’s oil producers and exporters, is thinking of disposing of its northwestern Russian diamond mine known as Grib, selling the subsidiary Arkhangelskgeoldobycha (AGD) which has held the controversial mining licence through fifteen years of litigation and arbitration with Archangel Diamond Corporation (ADC), a De Beers-owned company [...]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The committee of administrators of the Personal Abasement Award (PAW), having sat on their hands for two years, have decided to nominate Catherine Belton (image left) and the Financial Times for a presentation of the affairs of Suleiman Kerimov (right) at the very moment he has been trying (failing) to cash [...]