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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with The Russian literary intelligentsia doesn’t have a long history – just 200 years of the Russian language in poetry, for example. So it’s to be expected that the writers, including the poets, haven’t had time to overcome the resentment and envy of each other which is still the Russian intelligentsia’s […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow   @bears_with Somerset Maugham, the leading story-teller in the Anglo-American market a century ago, said there are three rules for writing a best-seller, but he added: “no one knows what they are.” As unlikely as it is for the profitability of a major line of business to be as unpredictable and irrational […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow Journalism is war by other means. If you don’t understand this you are either an enlisted soldier or a  casualty with a serious head-wound.  On the ground covered by journalism it’s impossible to hide;  innocent civilians are inevitably caught in the cross-fire. Most Russians have known this since the start of […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow A man who hates the subject of his writings is as pitiable as a coprophagic with haemorrhoids. The more he consumes of what he desires, the more painful he knows will be the consequence. Termites and rabbits do plenty of the former, but Mother Nature has relieved them of the latter.  […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The late Zbigniew Brzezinski, who died on May 26 near Washington, DC, was another of the Russia-hating Galicians who grew up in safe haven in Canada. Like Chrystia Freeland’s maternal grandfather, Michael Chomiak,  though the late Chomiak may have murdered the late Brzezinski if he had managed to get his hands on […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow The widow of Cyrus Vance, the only US Secretary of State to resign in protest against his president’s actions in a hundred years, called Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Jimmy Carter’s National Security Advisor and Vance’s rival, “that awful man”. Not a single official of the State Department under Vance during the Carter […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow If ever there was a man who displayed on his face the evil on his mind, it was Zbigniew Brzezinski, (lead image, right) who died last week at a hospital near Washington. Former President Jimmy Carter, who employed Brzezinski as his National Security Advisor between 1977 and 1981, the only high […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow  If you were the only person in the world who thought yourself a genius, it would be an embarrassment to be named Barry Parsnip. Robert Zimmerman solved the nomenclature problem. He became Bob Dylan – and Hey Presto! He won the Nobel Prize for Literature for 2016. Barry Parsnip (aka Boris […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow General Vo Nguyen Giap has died in Hanoi, aged 102. There has been no general of his quality and achievement in modern times. He defeated the French and the Americans, and in two separate wars drove them as decisively out of Vietnam as Kutuzov drove Napoleon out of Russia. Giap, his […]

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By John Helmer, Moscow At the freedom-flush Moscow parties of the 1990s, I was never sure whether Alexander Venediktov (2) was real, or a Vladimir Mamyshev-Monroe (1) impersonation. Mamyshev-Monroe died last month in what is described as a shallow swimming pool in Indonesia. Venediktov is alive, and like Mamyshev-Monroe does his radio turns on Ekho-Moskvy […]