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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Supreme Court, the final court of appeal in the UK, issued a rejection notice on November 10, denying the Sovcomflot subsidiary, Novoship, an appeal against its defeat in the Court of Appeal on more than $150 million in claims against former chartering partner, Yury Nikitin, and companies associated with him. A three-judge panel of the court ruled the Sovcomflot group’s “application does not raise an arguable point of law”. The court also penalized Sovcomflot and Novoship by ordering them to pay the legal costs of Nikitin against whom they have been litigating in London for a decade.
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1578d

By John Helmer, Moscow

One day in October the Financial Times newspaper went public with an endorsement of the truthfulness of Sergei Pugachev (lead image). On the same day, further down the Thames Embankment on the Strand, Pugachev was trying to convince the High Court of the same thing. Two reporters of the newspaper, Catherine Belton and Neil Buckley, fell for him. Justice Sir David Richards, the High Court expert on insolvency, didn’t. By British standards of evidence, that makes Belton and Buckley fools, liars, worse.
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By John Helmer, Moscow

The Polish Foreign Ministry continues to declare that when Radosław Sikorski was foreign minister, Edward Lucas (lead image), a reporter for The Economist, was awarded the Bene Merito medal. This is the ministry’s announcement, dated November 13, 2009, and currently to be read on the ministry’s website. The ministry says Sikorski “has awarded” — that’s the ministry’s official continuous past tense — its medal to “Edward Lucas – journalist, European correspondent of “The Economist”. For bringing closer to many readers all over the world issues dealing with Poland’s interests to many readers all over the world in a well-disposed way.”
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1575D

By John Helmer, Moscow

Coca-Cola, the world’s largest beverage company, is having trouble swallowing in Russia. That’s to say, increasing numbers of Russian consumers have stopped drinking Coca-Cola, as well as the company’s other carbonated drinks and juices, forcing the closure of a half-billion dollars in beverage plant investment – and the concealment in US stock exchange reports of just how bad the situation is.
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1573d

By John Helmer, Moscow

Former Federation Council Senator and the Kremlin’s troubleshooter for Africa and maritime piracy, Mikhail Margelov (image left) has been appointed a vice president of Transneft, the state oil pipeline company. The October 29 announcement says Margelov “will be responsible for supervision of foreign economic activity and public relations.” Igor Dyomin, the press spokesman for Transneft’s chief executive, Nikolai Tokarev (right), said there will be no other personnel changes. “Why ? If everyone works efficiently? There is no plan of major reforms after Margelov has come into the company.”
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1572d

By John Helmer, Moscow

Edward Lucas, a reporter for The Economist in London, has found fault with the accuracy of the report that Anne Applebaum has been receiving unaccountably large sums of money for her stand on the Ukraine civil war and regime change in Russia. For the full story of Applebaum’s employment and payments, as reported by her husband, ex-Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski, together with the involvement of Lucas and his wife, Cristina Odone, spokesman for Applebaum and the Legatum Institute, click here.
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1571d

By John Helmer, Moscow

From Arseny Yatseniuk’s point of view, the US election results could not have been worse for the not-Ukrainian-prime-minister-yet. Petro Poroshenko, the Ukrainian president defeated when a minority of Ukrainians went to their ballot boxes on October 26, the US outcome is no better.

This is because exit polls are reporting the overwhelming majority of American voters to have ignored Ukraine and Russia at this week’s midterm Congressional elections, telling the winning candidates and the pollsters they have no appetite for confrontation with the Kremlin. That also means no mandate from US voters for the new Congress to spend cash in Kiev to save Ukrainians from the cold weather and the economy ruined by civil war. For most Americans, according to the polls, the cold and failing economy they are afraid of are at home

The second meaning of the US election result is that the US presidential campaign, which starts up immediately, can’t promise anything better for the Ukrainian war party or the Russian regime-changers. Rand Paul, the Republican Senator from Kentucky — who is opposed to the war with Russia he ties to officials around Hillary Clinton – made the point in 116 digital characters tweeted under the headline, HILLARY’S LOSERS: “You didnt think it could get worse than your book tour? It did. Courtesy of the U.S. voters.
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By John Helmer, Moscow

Anne Applebaum has been paid unaccountably large sums of money, according to official yearly income declarations by her husband, the ex-foreign minister of Poland, Radosław Sikorski. According to the annual reports required of Polish Government officials and members of the Polish parliament, the Sejm, Applebaum received a US income of $20,000 in 2011. Two years later, in 2013, this had jumped to $565,000.

Applebaum, who writes and lectures as an expert on Russia and Ukraine, did not earn the money from her US publishers, while Sikorski’s reports claim the money was unrelated to his activities as a foreign minister. The income was earned instead, he says, from “honoraria for books, articles and lectures”. According to Applebaum’s spokesman, she claims the right of privacy not to explain where the money came from, or why.
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Hemingway

By John Helmer, Moscow

Fakery in allegiance to the truth.

That was how Henry Luce, the proprietor of Time, Life, and the March of Time newsreels, described his coverage of the Spanish Civil War in 1937. Luce’s fakery even won an Oscar that year for “revolutionizing” the newsreel medium. Beside Luce’s photographer in Spain that year, Robert Capa, Ernest Hemingway also faked names, battles, victories, defeats, body count. His allegiance, though, according to a new history of what he was doing as a reporter in Spain, was to money and celebrity; in short, himself. For Hemingway, his war paid about $250,000 in 1937-38 dollars. That’s more than $4 million today.

Though the bylines are less memorable, and the money is less, the Anglo-American reporters from this year’s Ukrainian civil war have composed the same record of selfie journalism. Seventy-seven years is too long to wait for another New York publisher’s history to show how they did it, and why.
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By John Helmer, Moscow

Mikhail Prokhorov thinks that his American basketball franchise, the Brooklyn (née New Jersey) Nets has grown eightfold in value in the five years since he acquired it for $223 million. For the time being, though, noone agrees with him. That’s to say there is no buyer at Prokhorov’s asking price of $1.7 billion. If Prokhorov drops his price to $1.2 billion, as some sports media reporters claim, there is still no buyer.

When Prokhorov bought the Nets – his stake is 80% — he told Bloomberg: “There is only one way to go – up. I like to find cheap assets with problems. It gives me power.” Today, if he’s obliged to accept a deal at the current industry valuation of $780 million for the team, Prokhorov must count that he has spent an additional amount of more than $600 million in player purchases, loss cover, debt service, and luxury taxes, ending up with no profit at all. If up was power in 2010, is down impotence today?
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